WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (11-0, 9 KOs) is slated to defend his title against Trent Broadhurst (20-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday in Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo and live on HBO Boxing After Dark® at 5:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT). Bivol was elevated from Interim Champion to Regular Champion by the WBA after former WBA Super World Champion Andre Ward retired and former WBA Regular Champion Badou Jack vacated. This will be Bivol's first voluntary defense of the belt and his fourth fight this year. He became the interim champion when he dethroned Felix Valera, and handed the Dominican boxer his only defeat, in May 2016.
Despite his stellar record and meteoric rise, with only two professional fights on US soil, most American fans know very little about the 26-year-old light heavyweight from St. Petersburg, Russia. He was born in Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan but moved to St. Petersburg when he was 11 years old. He started boxing at the age of six after watching Mike Tyson fight, but Tyson is not his favorite fighter. He said, "My favorite boxer is Sugar Ray Leonard. He's great. Of course, Muhammed Ali is biggest star. He is very famous. I love to watch fights with Sugar Ray Leonard before my fights. I learn from his fights. I also like to watch Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquaio, but my favorite is Sugar Ray Leonard."
Bivol trains in Southern California with his trainer, Gennadii Mashyanov, while his family remains back home in Russia. It is difficult for Dmitry to be so far away from his wife and two small children. He explained, "I have two baby sons. My older son is 3 years old and my younger son is eight months old. My family is home in Russia and it is hard to know how fast your babies are growing and you can't be there to see it. Every day I call to them and sometimes my older son calls to me when I am asleep because of the time difference."
When asked what he wanted his fans to know about him, Dmitry said, "I want the fans to know that, since I was a child, boxing is my life. I want the fans to know I am always trying to do my best. I am doing my best in the ring. I don't like to speak bad about my opponents; I just want my fans to like my boxing style and appreciate my work. I am trying to do everything for the fans."