Rival of ‘Canelo’, without flag or anthem

Dmitry Bivol You won’t be able to see your flag or hear your anthem during the fight against Saul Alvarez on May 7. The fighter has competed for Russian nationality since his debut in 2014, for this reason and due to the war between Russia and Ukraine that broke out on February 24, his national symbols will not be allowed to be shown in the fight that will be held in territory American (Las Vegas).

The fight between Bivol and ‘Canelo’ has the backing of the world boxing association (WBA), which is the one that gives the Russian the title of light heavyweight world champion so far. Although other boxing organisms such as the world organization (OMB), the Council (WBC) and the International Federation (IBF) decided to suspend Russian and Belarusian boxers from all official competition, the WBA only prohibited the singing of its anthem and the prostration of its flag.

“We all have to be proud of where we come from, no matter if it is from Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Africa or England. I understand why I am without a flag here (in the fight against ‘Canelo’ in Las Vegas). There is no problem, I am an athlete and I am focused on the fight”, said Bivol days before the confrontation.

Strictly speaking, Bivol was born in the current territory of Kyrgyzstan, which at that time (1990), was part of the Soviet Union (USSR). His father is of Moldovan origin and his mother is Kazakh with Korean roots; the family lived until Dmitry was 11 years old in Kyrgyzstan, then they moved to Russia and the boxer currently resides in California, United States.

It should be noted that both the wife and the two children of Dmitry Bivol reside in St. Petersburg, Russia, as does his father, who was denied a visa to watch the fight against “Canelo” in Las Vegas. He refers that his relatives are in a “constant state of nervousness”, but he does not show that this affects him, but rather that he finds in boxing a route to be better.

“I have many friends in Ukraine and in Russia. My family is in Russia. I have many friends everywhere. I wish you only peace and only the best. It is very sad for me what is happening. Every day I wake up and read the news hoping that the war will stop,” the 31-year-old admitted.

Despite his concern, he decides not to delve too deeply into the subject of the war, despite the fact that fighters of Ukrainian origin such as the Vitali brothers and Wladimir Klitschko declared that the fight against ‘Canelo’ should have been canceled due to Bivol’s nationality.

“I don’t know about politics. I’m in sports so I don’t know about coronavirus or politics. Most boxing fans just want to see the light heavyweight champion against the pound-for-pound king and that’s it.”

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