Dmitry Bivol vs Isaac Chilemba Preview Aug. 4th
Unbeaten Dmitry Bivol of Russia will be defending his WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Isaac Chilemba of Malawi in Atlantic City, New Jersey this Saturday, August 4th. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO. Bivol last fought in March when he stopped Sullivan Barrera in the third round. Chilemba’s last outing also took place in March when he beat Blake Caparello via a 12-round unanimous decision to halt a three-fight losing streak and win the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title.
Bivol vs Chilemba Betting Odds
- Isaac Chilemba +1800
- Dmitry Bivol -8000
The 27-year-old Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan and now fights out of Saint Petersburg. 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 76 rounds and has compiled a perfect record of 13-0 with 11 Kos. He certainly has better-than-average power with a knockout ratio of 85 per cent. Bivol stands 6-feet-1-inch tall, but has an unlisted 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 Barrera, Cedric Agnew, Robert Berridge and Felix Valera with Barrera definitely being the best of the bunch. Bivol won the interim WBA Championship in May of 2016 when he beat Valera by a unanimous decision. He 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 WBC champ Adonis Stevenson, WBO belt holder Sergey Kovalev or IBF king Artur Beterbiev.
The 31-year-old Chilemba, who fights out of South Africa, is 25-5-2 with 10 Kos. Chilemba represents one of Bivol’s toughest opponents to date and the reasons for this are his aggressive style and chin. He’s been stopped just once, but that was due to a broken hand he suffered against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in November of 2016. Chilemba’s an exciting fighter even though he doesn’t have a lot of power with a current knockout ratio of 31 per cent. He has a fan-friendly style, a lot of endurance and doesn’t mind mixing it up when he has to.
He likes to use the jab and is an accurate puncher, but his lack of power means his fights usually go the distance. He’s recorded just one stoppage since 2011 and has gone 12 rounds a total of 11 times so far in his career. Chilemba is 6-feet-2-inches tall with a 73-inch reach so he’s an inch taller than Bivol and he’s boxed 254 rounds since turning pro in 2005. He’s been beaten on points by Willbeforce Shihep in 2007, Tony Bellew in 2013, Eleider Alvarez in 2015 and Sergey Kovalev in 2016. He also drew with Thomas Oosthuizen in 2010 and Bellew in 2013.
Chilemba’s biggest wins have been over Caparello, Edison Miranda, Vasily Lepikhin and Denis Grachev. He’s fallen slightly short whenever stepping up in class, but has won the NABF, WBC International, African Boxing Union and WBO Africa Light Heavyweight Titles during his career as well as the IBO World and African Boxing Union Super Middleweight belts. He’s as tough as nails and quite underrated with fine footwork and counterpunching skills. He doesn’t have the power to keep Bivol at bay, so will need to use all of his skills and experience and his chin will need to continue to hold up.
For Chilemba to win the title he’s going to have to outwork Bivol by a wide margin and hope to take it on points. Bivol will eventually start to close the gap and try to break Chilemba down with punishing shots, but it won’t be easy. There’s a chance this fight will go the distance and there could also be a late stoppage. Either way, look for Bivol to retain his belt.
Chilemba’s as tough as nails, but Bivol should eventually wear him down.
Play: Bivol -8000 @ BetOnline.ag
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