Isaac Chilemba’s opponent in tomorrow’s World Boxing Association (WBA) light-heavyweight title fight Dmitry Bivol says the South Africa-based Malawian boxer has a good chin, in reference to his ability to take punches without being knocked out.
The two clash at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in what will be Chilemba’s second shot at a world title after he was outpointed by Sergey Kovalev for the unified crown in Russia two years ago.
“He’s a tough and persistent guy,” Bivol, who is unbeaten in 13 fights with 11 knockouts, was quoted as having said by ESPN.
“He has a good chin. I expect him to move a lot, jab a lot and look to counterattack. He’s not an easy opponent. It’s hard to look good against him because of his movement. Every fighter that moves a lot is difficult.”
After suffering a major injury to his arm when he fought against Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Chilemba underwent surgery.
He was idle for a year and returned to the ring in March and re-launched his career after beating Blake Caparello.
Chilemba, 25-5-2 (10), who last won a world title—the World Championship (IBO) nine years ago—has twice unsuccessfully had a go at world titles, but says this time he will be crowned world champion.
He said: “Nine years ago I won a World Championship [IBO], only vacated after a single defence and moved up a division. Since then, I became WBC International Champion three times, won an Nabf Championship, ABU and WBO African Championships.
“I got a chance to fight for WBC World Championship twice, but came short in elimination challenges. Fought for a unified World Championship IBF, WBA, and WBO and still came short.”
The Golden Boy feels now is the time to reclaim his position among world title holders when he faces the Russian.
Chilemba said: “Now, nine years later since being a World Champion, God has blessed me with yet another opportunity at WBA World Championship. After all those fails, this time I’m not letting go.
“It’s time that I achieve what I have been chasing all these years, and I believe the opportunity came at a right time. I have the experience and been tested, August 4th is my day! I’ll be crowned as a New WBA Light Heavyweight Champion of the World.”