Dmitry Bivol, one of the best up-and-coming light heavyweights in the world, is set for his HBO debut.
Bivol is scheduled to face Trent Broadhurst on Nov. 4 on Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn’s “Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza” card inside the Salle Médecin at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Bivol, who owns an interim world title, is expected to be elevated to the WBA’s “regular” titleholder in the wake of Badou Jack vacating that belt on Saturday. The fight with Broadhurst would be Bivol’s first defense, with the winner likely to be ordered to face Sullivan Barrera next in a mandatory defense.
HBO plans to carry Bivol-Broadhurst live at a time to be determined in the late afternoon/early evening, but does not have plans to televise any of the other notable bouts on the show.
The card will also feature the rematch between secondary bantamweight world titlist Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs), 31, of England, and former junior bantamweight titlist Liborio Solis (25-5-1, 11 KOs), 35, of Venezuela, who will be fighting for the first time in the year since they first met.
“We are delighted to be back in Monaco for an incredible evening of world championship boxing live on Sky Sports in the U.K. and HBO across America,” Hearn said. “I’m excited to watch Dmitry Bivol, one of the most exciting young fighters in world boxing and, of course, to see the world title rematch of Jamie McDonnell versus Liborio Solis after their last close encounter.”
Bivol (11-0, 9 KOs), 26, of Russia, defended the interim belt three times. He and his team have made it a priority to fight in the United States and to be on American television.
He made his Showtime debut on April 14 and looked sensational in knocking out Samuel Clarkson in the fourth round. In his next fight, Bivol drilled former world title challenger Cedric Agnew in the fourth round of a nontitle fight on June 17 on the HBO PPV undercard of the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight world title rematch.
HBO likes Bivol a lot and went to Hearn, with whom the network is doing a lot of business, and asked to be put on the card.
Broadhurst (20-1, 12 KOs), 29, of Australia, will be fighting outside of his home country for the first time and fighting his first recognizable opponent. However, there are issues regarding Broadhurst’s participation in the fight. Shortly after Hearn announced the bout on Monday, promoter Lou DiBella sent a legal letter to Hearn, Bivol manager Vadim Kornilov, HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson and Broadhurst manager Peter Khan asserting his promotional rights to the fighter and accusing Khan of making a deal with Hearn behind his back.
“DiBella Entertainment, Inc. had a promotional interest in Mr. Broadhurst and only recently relinquished that interest due to the multiple bad faith acts and representations on the part of Mr. Broadhurst’s manager, Peter Kahn,” DiBella attorney Alex Dombroff wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN. “This letter shall serve as notice that, in the event Matchroom chooses to proceed with the Bivol-Broadhurst bout, DBE shall pursue all remedies available, including seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the bout from moving forward. DBE will also be pursuing all available remedies against Mr. Kahn.”
Dombroff claims to have emails and texts from Khan “accepting the promotional offer made by DBE to Mr. Broadhurst and ensuring signatures were forthcoming. Mr. Kahn was further aware that DBE had begun representing itself as Mr. Broadhurst’s promoter in the boxing industry and he began consulting with DBE’s matchmaker, Eric Bottjer, as it pertained to future bouts for Mr. Broadhurst.
“Mr. Kahn’s actions constituted per se acceptance of the promotional offer and, no doubt, formed a binding contract between DBE and Mr. Broadhurst.
“DBE only revoked its interest in the contract following prolonged silence by Mr. Kahn. DBE now understands Mr. Kahn was actually negotiating directly with promoters on behalf of Mr. Broadhurst — a complete dereliction of Mr. Kahn’s obligation of good faith and fair dealing and a subversion of DBE’s rights.”
Dombroff wrote that he did not think Matchroom Boxing acted with any malicious intent in negotiating the bout directly with Khan.
“Any representation Mr. Kahn made that Mr. Broadhurst was not bound to a promotional contract was false and intended to further subvert DBE’s rights,” Dombroff wrote. “Although Mr. Kahn does not respect agreements between parties, I expect that Matchroom does. To avoid the involvement of the courts, DBE is demanding that Mr. Broadhurst either be pulled from the event or that Matchroom negotiate directly with DBE for Mr. Broadhurst’s involvement on the show.”
McDonnell and Solis squared off last Nov. 12, also in Monte Carlo, and McDonnell retained his belt for the fifth time, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 in a very spirited fight. However, it was viewed by many as a very controversial result and Solis appealed to the WBA, which ordered a rematch.
Also on the card, former junior featherweight world titlist Scott Quigg (33-1-2, 24 KOs), 28, of England, in his second fight under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, will face Oleg Yefimovich (29-2-1, 16 KOs), 36, of Ukraine, in a world title elimination fight. The winner will be in position for a mandatory title shot against the winner of the expected rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares in early 2018.
In another notable bout on the show, former heavyweight world title challenger Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KOs), 33, of England, will seek to win the European title for the second time when he challenges reigning champion Agit Kabayel (16-0, 12 KOs), 25, of Germany, who will be making his first title defense. Chisora, however, must first come through a six-round tuneup bout on Sept. 30 in Liverpool, England.
“Former world champ Scott Quigg has one of the toughest tests in his career so far against the highly ranked Yefimovich, and heavyweight Dereck Chisora is in an all-out war with current European champion Agit Kabayel,” Hearn said. “This is a special event in a special place and we can’t wait to take the Sky Sports and HBO cameras to Monaco in November.”