Bivol to defend light heavyweight belt against Castillo on Oct. 12

Light heavyweight world titleholder Dmitry Bivol finally has an opponent for Oct. 12.

Bivol will defend his crown for the sixth time against Lenin Castillo in the chief support bout of former undisputed cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk's heavyweight debut against Tyrone Spong. The card (DAZN) will happen at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

"I am happy that the fight is done and the opponent is confirmed for Oct. 12," Bivol said. "Castillo is a good opponent. He fought (former interim titlist) Marcus Brown before; it was a good fight. I can't wait and hope that we can make a very exciting performance for the fans."

Bivol (16-0, 11 KO’s), 28, of Russia, who is coming off a lopsided unanimous decision over former contender Joe Smith Jr. in March, recently turned down a multi-fight offer from Premier Boxing Champions to continue its ongoing partnership with Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn and DAZN.

"Castillo is a tough opponent and it's another opportunity for Dmitry to build his reputation as one of the most avoided boxers in the division," said Vadim Kornilov, Bivol's manager.

Castillo (20-2-1, 15 KO’s), 31, a 2008 Olympian who represented his native Dominican Republic, has won two fights in a row since dropping a 10-round decision to former interim titlist Marcus Browne, whom he knocked down, in August 2018.

"It's a dream come true. I consider Dmitry Bivol in the top 20 on the pound-for-pound list, but I know that a have the tools to upset him," Castillo said. "I been training very hard. On Oct. 12 you will see the best version of Lenin Castillo. I will take the title to the Dominican Republic!"

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