Dmitry Bivol vs Craig Richards Preview May 1, 2021
Unbeaten Dmitry Bivol of Russia will be defending his WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Craig Richards of London, England at the Manchester Arena this Saturday, May 1st. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on DAZN while fans in the UK can catch it on Sky Sports Box Office. Bivol last fought in October, 2019 when he beat Lenin Castillo by unanimous decision. Richards last saw action in December when he stopped Shakan Pitters in the ninth round to win the British Light Heavyweight Title.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Bivol vs Richards Betting Odds
- Craig Richards +1400
- Dmitry Bivol -3300
The 30 -year-old Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan and now fights out of Saint Petersburg, Russia. He had an excellent amateur career with a record of 268-15 and won numerous national championships before turning pro in 2014. Since then he’s boxed 124 rounds and has compiled a perfect record of 17-0 with 11 Kos. He has better-than-average power with a knockout ratio of 64.7 per cent, but has gone the distance in his last four outings.
Bivol stands 6-feet tall with a 70-inch reach. He’s got smooth boxing skills and always seems to eventually wear his foes down with his heavy hands. He’s faced a few decent opponents so far with wins over Joe Smith, Jean Pascal, Isaac Chilemba, Sullivan Barrera, Cedric Agnew, Robert Berridge and Felix Valera. He won the interim WBA Championship in May, 2016 when he beat Valera by a unanimous decision.
Bivol was elevated to full champion when Badou Jack gave up the WBA title after beating former champ Nathan Cleverly. However, fans would love to see him step up the level of opposition and try to unite the titles with any of the other light heavyweight belt holders. However, he’s already beaten current WBO champ Joe Smith Jr and WBA champ Jean Pascal. That leaves WBC?IBF champ Artur Beterbiev on the table.
Richards is also 30 years old and climbs into the ring with an impressive mark of 16-1-1 with 9 Kos. He’s boxed 93 rounds since making his pro debut in 2015 and possesses average power with a current knockout ratio of 50 per cent. He had a pretty good amateur career and stands 6-feet-1-inch tall with a 73-inch reach. This gives him an inch edge in height and three inches in reach on Bivol.
His lone loss came at the hands of Frank Buglioni by 12-round unanimous decision for the British light Heavyweight Title in 2017. Richards lone draw was an eight-round affair with Chad Sugden in 2019. He won the British Southern Area Super Middleweight Crown in 2017 with a 10-round decision win over Alan Higgins and captured the vacant WBA Continental light Heavyweight Title by stopping Jake Ball in the third round in 2019.
Richards is taking a huge step up in class this weekend against Bivol and one wonders how he’s earned a world title shot. Still, he’s got average power and a solid chin and Bivol has been taken the distance four times straight, so anything can happen if Richards has the fight of his life. He’s nicknamed ‘Spider,’ but he’ll likely be the one getting caught in Bivol’s web Saturday night.
Nobody’s ever sure which Bivol is going to show up. At his best, he looks like a devastating puncher who can take anybody out. However, he sometimes looks lethargic and is forced to go the distance. Perhaps Bivol fights to the level of his opponent which means he may not look that great against Richards. Bivol should be fighting top-level opponents at this stage of his career, no disrespect to Richards and he’s expected to win. Just how convincingly he’ll do it is up in the air though.
Bivol’s a class above Richards.
Play: Bivol -3300 @ BetOnline.ag
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