The Russian champion in the WBA version will follow closely how Kovalyov hopes to take the vacant WBO title when he faces Vyacheslav Shabransky in New York early Sunday morning on Sky Sports.
Bevol faces off against Shabran, and although it gives him a “chance” to alter the odds, he expects Kovalev to take one of the belts he lost against Andre Ward.
The undefeated 26-year-old wants to unite the division by 175 pounds on the line, and with another Russian, Arthur Beterbiev, holding the IBF title, admits he will gladly take “Krusher” in the future. “It will be very interesting to see this fight, because this is his comeback,” Bivol said exclusively to Sky Sports.
“I do not know him personally, but he is one of the best and strongest fighters, so I want to fight him at a certain stage. “It will not change the way I treat and respect him.” This applies to all the people I’m fighting with.
Bivol knows Shabransky well, and even if he expects Kovalev to return to victory, he believes that the Ukrainians will fight against this. “Lion Heart” will have a 81 percent KO ratio in the ring at Madison Square Garden and will only lose once against Sullivan Barrera, who is also on the map.
“We played several times, and he is a good guy and a great character,” Bevol said. “One thing I can tell you, he will not give up, he will definitely make this a great battle.
“I would say that his height is one of his biggest advantages, he’s quite strong, and his punches are very strong when they land, and as I said, he has a lot of character. “There are boxers, and then there are fighters, and he is a fighter.”