Dmitry Bivol vs Sullivan Barrera Preview March 3rd
Unbeaten Dmitry Bivol of Russia will be defending his WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Sullivan Barrera of Cuba this Saturday, March 13th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO while fans in the UK can catch it on BoxNation. Bivol last fought in November when he stopped Trent Broadhurst in the first round in a mismatch. Barrera’s last outing also came in November when be beat Felix Valera by a 10-round unanimous decision.
Bivol vs Barrera Betting Odds
- Sullivan Barrera +450
- Dmitry Bivol -600
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 64 rounds and has compiled a perfect record of 12-0 with 10 Kos. He certainly has better-than-average power with a knockout ratio of 83 per cent. Bivol stands 6-feet-tall, but has an unlisted reach.
He’s faced a few decent opponents so far with wins over Cedric Agnew, Robert Berridge and Felix Valera. Bivol won the interim WBA Championship in May of 2016 when he beat Valera by a unanimous decision. He was elevated to full champion recently when Badou Jack gave up the WBA title after beating former champ Nathan Cleverly. The winner of this fight will presumably hope to unite the titles with the WBC champ Adonis Stevenson, WBO belt holder Sergey Kovalev or IBF holder Artur Beterbiev.
The 36-year-old Barrera fights out of Miami and has a record of 21-1 with 14 Kos under his belt. He had a pretty good amateur career and was a two-time bronze medalist at the Cuban national championships in 2002 and 2003. Barrera has the height advantage as he stands 6-feet-2-inches with a 73-inch reach. He turned pro in 2009 and has boxed 114 rounds since then. He’s not known as a heavy hitter, but has a good current knockout ratio of 64 per cent.
His lone loss came in March of 2016 when Andre Ward beat him by a 12-round unanimous decision. Barrera will need to utilize all of his skills and land as hard as he can to trouble Bivol, but he can’t leave himself open for his counterpunches. Barrera’s best career wins have been against Felix Valera, Joe Smith Jr, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Jeff Lacy and Karo Murat and he stopped the latter three. Barrera has a good selection of punches to choose from, has an effective jab and doesn’t mind the infighting either.
Barrera has the edge in boxing skills, but unfortunately he doesn’t possess the strongest chin around. He was dropped in the first round by Valera and Smith in his last two fights and Shabranskyy and Lee Campbell decked him in the second round. Also, Andre Ward had him down in the third. Barrera’s a slow starter and it’s essential he can take Bivol’s power shots early in the fight or stay away from them. Bivol has gone the distance twice with lesser boxers than Barrera and could be in trouble if he can’t stop him. I actually think Barrera will take a decision if he holds up, but may be dropped along the way. Bivol will either need to land something hard to keep Barrera at bay or show the world that he also has some boxing skills as well as power.
I’m leaning towards an upset here, but Barrera’s chin needs to hold up.
Play: Barrera +450 @ BetOnline.ag
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