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4 Jan, 2021 12:49

‘When everyone is chipped’: Russian boxing champ jokes about conspiracy theory and calls masks ‘depressing’ as he plots next fight

‘When everyone is chipped’: Russian boxing champ jokes about conspiracy theory and calls masks ‘depressing’ as he plots next fight

Unbeaten Russian boxer Dmitry Bivol has joked that the sporting schedule will be able to resume "when everyone is chipped" and hinted that he has been asked to engage in weigh-in ruckuses with opponents on his long unbeaten run.

Former World Combat Games gold medalist Bivol is considered by boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to be one of the most avoided names in the sport, failing to face an opponent since he beat Gilbert Lenin Castillo by a unanimous decision in October 2019.

The world light heavyweight champion plotted his future on US broadcasting giants DAZN while spending time with his family over the new year, and says he is biding his time after his plans to fight before the end of 2020 were foiled by the pandemic.

"There are many factors due to which there was no fight, but it's OK," the 30-year-old told news.ru, explaining that he now hopes to defend his title again in March or April.

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"I look at it calmly. I do not worry, I train and believe that I will wait for the fight. There are conversations and plans with Hearn but I will not voice them yet so as not to jinx them.

"Maybe it will not be against a super rival, but I will have to go out so as not to stagnate. I am now looking at [fighting] in Sochi and am eager to enter the ring. In 2021, I hope to have at least two fights."

Asked when he felt a greater degree of familiarity would return to his plans, Bivol alluded to baseless conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 vaccines are part of a plan for population control by replying: "When everyone is chipped. Joke - I do not know.

"Let's hope everything will be fine by summer. I think the [problem] will be until summer. And precautions will last for a long time.

"I would like to go to the movies. I want to look at people's faces more - masks are depressing. I want to live a little more freely, I'm tired of this vulnerability."

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Bivol has had Covid-19 himself. "The symptoms were that my sense of smell disappeared for four days," he recalled.

"There was weakness in the body, a sore throat, but there was no temperature. I did not attach any importance to it."

When he returns, Bivol will resist the temptation to follow the trend of antagonizing opponents for the cameras before fight. "I was offered a lot of things to say and do but I refused," he revealed.

"I'm still an adherent of the old conservative views. I do boxing and I want it to be the focus, and not squabbles and fights outside the ring.

"I want everyone to pay attention to the beauty of the actions of athletes. and not to scandals. We are gentlemen in the ring."

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Another Russian champion, Alexander Povetkin, has also shown his champion credentials and suffered with the coronavirus this year.

Bivol rejects suggestions by some that Povetkin had some fortune to find the thunderous punch that ended opponent Dillian Whyte's night in their fight in the UK last year and is backing his compatriot to win their rematch.

"If he had knocked out White with a counter punch, with the right straight on the retreat, it would have been a lucky punch," Bivol pointed out.

"But he knocked him out with the bottom left as he walked forward. This was clearly practiced - Sasha constantly hits the right side short and left from below, this is his standard blow.

"I'll just believe in Povetkin [in the forthcoming rematch]. Anything can happen there."

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