Sports correspondent discussed with Vadim Kornilov, manager of the champion according to the World Boxing Association (WBA) in light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol, the future of the undefeated Russian, the scandalous blow in the last fight of Alexander Usik and the prospects of Fedor Emelianenko in professional boxing.
On Bivol's next challenge
— And you and Dmitry claimed that the estimated return date is October. Is mid-autumn still a priority?
– The priority is to return to the ring in October or November. While there is no confirmed date, there are several reasons for this. The main one concerns the general will of our team, some circumstances. We are sticking to the plan.
It is also not the first time that we face problems with suitable opponents. Bivol and Artur Beterbiev have already won most of the significant boxers in the light heavyweight category, they did it quite confidently. Finding an opponent is difficult – there are some developments, searches and negotiations are ongoing.
– Will you reveal the name of your preferred opponent?
– For a long time, two preferred opponents are Beterbiev and Saul Alvarez. Canelo (nickname of the Mexican – ed. note) many times called the name of Dmitry as the most priority opponent, and fought with others: Gennady Golovkin, John Ryder … He constantly mentioned that he wanted to take revenge. But he didn't really want it. In political and sporting terms, the fight cannot be interesting to him. Canelo lost almost every round in the first fight with Bivol, he looked too insecure. Objectively, I don’t see what sense he can find for revenge. We did not expect anything from him, except for words at a press conference.
As for Beterbiev, he has a mandatory defense with Briton Callum Smith. The fight was supposed to take place in August, but an injury happened … Objective factors that delay the possibility of holding a duel between Bivol and Beterbiev. There were negotiations in the summer at the site in Abu Dhabi, but, unfortunately, they could not agree on conditions that would suit both sides. But neither Beterbiev nor Canelo are considered for October. Who, if not them?
– We have to look for any option who would want to enter the ring and who would want to see the fans in the arena and on TV. And there are few such options: Dan Aziz, Joshua Buatsi, but both refused and decided to fight each other. In my opinion, coach Buatsi said that the boxer is not yet ready for Bivol and he still needs to gain experience.
In addition, the fight with Jaime Munguia was discussed. Maybe we will return to this option – we are in search. In the process of negotiating with someone and formalizing Dmitry's return to the ring as soon as possible. Now he is holding an intermediate camp, preparations are underway for the main camp before the battle.
– I judge from the outside: you and your client are in a suspended situation, when two of the coolest confrontations cannot be organized, and other fights are a step back both in terms of media and in terms of finances.
– You are certainly right. Dima sometimes says to me: “We are always in this situation.” We are not used to. It rarely happens that everything develops easily and without any obstacles.
About Artur Beterbiev
— There is an opinion that the problem of our boxers' superfight lies in the lack of interest from the American public.
– Of course, this does not make things easier. Americans are more rooting for local boxers: Americans and Hispanics.
—Suddenly a thought came to mind. After all, it will be easier for you to organize a fight for the title of absolute world champion with Briton Smith than with compatriot Beterbiev.
– Organize, however, it will be easier. But, in my opinion, the fight itself will be less interesting. The duel between Bivol and Biterbiev is already approaching the boiling point and deserves the title of a mega-fight.
– It is difficult to say in percentage terms, the probability is quite high. But there are many factors that can reduce it in the process. Here's an example: Beterbiev's fight was supposed to take place in August, and now it's already scheduled for January. No one is to blame for this, injuries happen to everyone – it's unpredictable. So unpredictable that Smith can say: “I don't want to wait, I don't want to fight Beterbiev.” And we will return to the negotiations … We even offered this option to all participants. and what's wrong with the poster of the fight for the title of absolute world heavyweight champion? After all, everything was so close …I don't have all the information. But I suppose that, as in the case of the Bivol-Beterbiev duel, there are many criteria that should suit both of them. Finances, refereeing, location, other terms of the contract… Big finances and future prospects are at stake, someone will lose – this is one of the biggest fights of the current boxing era. Of course, it is not easy to agree on everything.
—UFC Head Dana White speaks tough about boxing. One of the loudest phrases: “Big fights that should take place, or never happen, or happen very late.” Is the American functionary right?
— Not always so. White is partially right, but I do not think that in other organizations everything is always very simple and fast. It all depends on the level of the fight: how often do fights take place in the UFC with fees, which are measured in ten million equivalents? Yes, and defeat in boxing is much more negatively reflected in the career of a fighter than in MMA.
— Since we are talking about the Ukrainian, I will ask a question about Saturday's fight against Daniel Dubois. Was there a hit in the groin in the fifth round?To be honest, I didn't get to watch the broadcast. But this moment was shown to me on video: it looked like the blow was normal and the hit was in the top line of the shorts. Although according to the rules it is considered that blows below the navel – below the belt. In fights of this level, there must be an instant video replay. It is not clear why it is not always used.
It's all up to the referee. It is difficult to state unequivocally whether this is a violation or not. desire to hold a boxing match.
– I have great respect for Fedor Emelianenko. I think that a person with such achievements in sports can do anything… Within reason, of course. I don’t know his motivations – as far as I understand, so far this is just a discussion. There is no understanding that what is being discussed will be implemented.
— Is it realistic that the fight Emelianenko VS Tyson will take place? After all, the difference is 11 years, and Iron Mike's health has been declining in recent years.
— Judging by some events of recent years in the world of martial arts, now, probably, everything is real.