Movie Star Jackie Chan Inspired Dmitry Bivol to Pursue Pro Boxing Career

By Mike Sloan Jun 17, 2017
One of the biggest fights the sport of boxing can deliver is happening Saturday night as Andre Ward will defend his light heavyweight world titles against the man he beat to win them: Sergey Kovalev. The pair will lock horns at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, but they aren’t the only terrific 175-pounders on the bill.

Dmitry Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) will fight in one of the featured televised undercard bouts and he’s ready to take the world by storm. A native of Kyrgyzstan, the 26-year-old prospect has been turning heads ever since he turned pro in late 2014. He’s set to fight Chicago-based veteran Cedric Agnew in a scheduler 10-round affair, and Bivol said he knows what to expect.

“I know a lot about him because I’ve studied him and watched a lot of his fights,” Bivol told Sherdog.com in a recent interview. “I’ve seen his fight with Kovalev, of course. I think he’s going to be fast and try to counter and always move his positions. He’s very unpredictable when he fights.”

Agnew (29-2, 15 KOs) was knocked out by Kovalev three years ago and then was bested on points by Samuel Clarkson. He’s toppled some decent opponents along the way including Yusaf Mack, Daniel Judah and Rubin Williams, but Bivol said that he doesn’t focus too much on how the former world title challenger fared in his two losses.

“I have seen both of his losses but I’m not going to base my strategy on those two fights,” he said. “With this training camp, I was not focused on what he did wrong in those fights, but what I need to do for myself. I focus on my game plan more than anything, so those two losses didn’t factor into how I prepared for this fight.

“But I do study film of my opponents a lot,” he continued. “Because even though you can’t predict what he’ll do against you, you can always pick up on some things he does a lot, whether it’s a flaw or a strength. So even though he might fight completely differently when we fight, I will still know what to look for and I will know how to attack that when it happens.”

Bivol said he thinks he will be ready to face the likes of Ward and Kovalev in the near future, but he admits that he’s in no hurry. He wants his career to develop properly and when he’s ready, he’ll know it. He first has to take care of Agnew on Saturday and he’s taking no chances.

“I try not to look that far ahead because I have a tough challenge in front of me in Agnew,” he stated. “I try not to think too much about the future because I don’t want to lose focus on what I need to do.”

Bivol didn’t get his start in the Sweet Science in typical fashion. He didn’t come from a house with a dirt floor, didn’t live in the streets and never had to resort to illegal tactics just to stay alive. He had a good childhood and always wanted to challenge himself, but it wasn’t Mike Tyson or Roy Jones or Muhammad Ali who got him into boxing.

“I remember when I was a kid, I watched movies of Jackie Chan and I wanted to be like him and to imitate him and that led me to karate,” he said. “But I noticed that there was not much competition where I live for karate, just training. I found a boxing gym nearby and they were going to competitions all the time, so I asked my dad if I could train there because I wanted to compete. My dad let me and that’s how it all started for me, because of Jackie Chan.”

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