World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol (13-0, 11KO’s) made weight, coming in at 174.6lbs, while his challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2, 10KO’s) came in at 175.0lbs even.
The two fighters weighed in outside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, on the boardwalk in Atlantic City where their bout will be held. The fight will be broadcast live on HBO premium network and be a co-feature to Sergey Kovalev vs Eleider Alvarez.
Everyone is looking to a showdown between Bivol and Kovalev, who will be fighting in the main event, with Bivol commenting “Most likely the fight with Sergey is going to happen because it is the fight people want. I believe in my victory on the 4th first of course”
When asked if he thinks that he should be headlining his own fights Dmitry quaintly replied “It would be great to be a headliner as a status sort of thing but I do not think about that right now. Right now I focus on showing good fights to the fans.”
About his opponent, Dmitry thinks that the experience of Isaac Chilemba can only be a benefit to fight against in the ring. He also appreciates the durability of the veteran who has fought over 250 rounds as a professional.
“I picked Chilemba because he has fought many good fighters, he has good experience, he can move backwards and move forwards, he can fight all kinds of fights and all 12 rounds, but I believe in my good chin and good training camp. I want to keep my belt a long time.”
The challenger Isaac Chilemba, on the other hand, says that it is exactly the same reason why Bivol picked him as an opponent that he can beat Bivol: his experience.
“I am looking forward to being on HBO. This fight will showcase all that I have done in my career. I am focused on being a champion again.”
Chilemba also offered an interesting viewpoint into this bout and how he is looking at it from his perspective, saying “We can say I have never seen someone like him before but he has never seen someone like me also” no doubt referring to his extensive experience in the ring.
This fight figures to be a very good one and yet another measuring stick to see where the WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol measures up to others in the division who have faced Chilemba, with only Oleksandr Gvozdyk being able to stop Chilemba inside the distance when he forced him to retire on his stool before the start of the ninth round in November of 2016 due to Chilemba suffering a broken hand.