It was another test for young Dmitry Bivol, the light heavyweight division’s top young star at the moment, but he passed the test that was Isaac Chilemba with flying colors.
In the co-main event of Sergey Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title defense against Eleider Alvarez, Bivol steamrolled his way to a wide unanimous decision win over Chilemba. Bivol won the fight, and retained his WBA light heavyweight title, with the three official judges scoring the bout 120-108, 120-108 and 116-112. Fightful had scored the bout in favor of Bivol as well with a score of 118-110.
Bivol started the fight well, exploding with numerous hooks and overhand rights that stunned Chilemba at times. Chilemba was game, though, as he not only took everything Bivol threw at him, but also land some strong punches of his own.
Chilemba’s jab was effective at times, but it never carried the necessary power needed to knock down the young champion. As the fight got deeper, Bivol took the foot off the gas pedal and proceeded to simply move around the ring and land the jab to score points instead of going for the knockout. Chilemba got his best rounds at the end, but it was too little, too late for Chilemba.
It was the the second title defense of 2018 for Bivol, who had been elevated to full world champion last year since winning the interim title in 2016. Bivol started the year off with a strong 12th round stoppage win over Sullivan Barrera on the co-feature bout of Kovalev’s quick title defense win over Igor Mikhalkin, building to a potential unification fight.