WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol considers it unfair that the WBC prevents him from fighting for unifications against Artur Beterbiev or Canelo Álvarez, because in his opinion, sport should not be mixed with politics.
Sports and politics should not be mixed: Dmitry Bivol
When the war between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022, the WBC issued a directive that it would not allow any Russian or Belarusian fighter to fight for a WBC title while the war continued.
However, with Artur Beterbiev, already reigning as the WBC Light Heavyweight Champion, an exception was made. Mauricio Sulaimán argued at the time that although Artur is also Russian, he is allowed to fight for the WBC title because he has lived in Canada for 15 years, has a Canadian passport and residence, and a boxing license in Canada.
On the same notion, Sulaimán also indicated that Dmitry Bivol will not be allowed to unify against Canelo or against Beterbiev, while the WBC penalty is in force against Russian fighters.
Bivol addressed that argument, noting that he doesn’t spend that much time in Russia either, but also stressed that this should not be the essential argument.
“Of course, it’s not fair,” Bivol said in an interview with Seconds Out. “How can you call yourself a world champion if someone from a certain country cannot fight for the title, even though that someone may be better than you? It’s not fair. And that someone trains, spends time in the gym, and is not allowed to fight. He is just like you. The only problem with him is that he lives in another place, but he works just like you, he trains, he fights and his mentality is similar to yours, but why isn’t he allowed to fight? It’s not fair”.
“I could ask that they let me fight against Beterbiev because I haven’t spent a lot of time in Russia. To be honest, last year I was not in Russia for more than four months. I went all over the world. But I don’t want that to be my argument for asking for the fight. No, the reason is that sports and politics should not be mixed. Don’t mix it up.”
Bivol noted that he has never been interested in politics and has never been involved in politics.
“All my life, I have only watched sports news on TV” he went on, “I love watching sports. I am not involved in politics. I’m not interested in those topics. For example, I never got involved in the coronavirus issue when it happened. I did not give recommendations to anyone when the coronavirus was in the world, because I am not a doctor. And I’m not a politician to say anything about politics either. I’m an athlete”.