WBA light-heavyweight champion of the world Dimitry Bivol makes the sixth defence of his title against Lenin Castillo of the Dominican Republic on the Usyk vs Spong card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago Illinois on October 12th. The fight will be streamed In the USA by DAZN and shown in the UK by Sky Sports.
Bivol, from St Petersburg, Russia is getting good exposure through the DAZN/Matchroom Boxing USA link-up but will need to meet bigger name opposition in 2020 to keep the momentum going. Not that the 31-year-old Castillo is not decent, with a (20-2-1, 15 Ko's) record that saw him lose a 10 round decision to Marcus Browne last year he has the tools to test the champion if he turns up to give it his best shot.
In the 5th round of the Marcus Browne fight, Castillo dropped the soon to be Interim world champion but then went into his shell to see the fight out and lose on a clear decision, he will need to show that punching power and a bit more desire if he wants to win the title.
Bivol's last fight against Joe Smith Jr was entertaining and competitive throughout and boxing fans are warming to the Russian who has also defended the title against Samuel Clarkson, Cedric Agnew, Trent Broadhurst, Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba, and Jean Pascal. There's not that much more that the 28-year-old Bivol can do other than being involved in unification bouts to boost his career, but the other champions are busy until next year, WBO holder Sergey Kovalev faces unified middleweight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on November 2nd and WBC and IBF champions Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev respectively meet to unify on October 18th in Philadelphia.
Castillo is rugged and has good hand speed, but, he tends to box in an upright stance a lot and that should make him a choice of opponent for Bivol to shine against.
Prediction: Bivol to win a wide points decision.