Robert Berridge announced on his facebook page that he has signed a contract to face Dmitry Bivol for Bivol Interim WBA World Light Heavyweight title. The bout will happen in Russia on February 23rd.
Russian Dmitry Bivol climbed the boxing ranks extremely quickly, winning his Interim World title in his 7th fight against champion at the time Felix Valera. Bivol has also just came off a win from in non title fight against Yevgeni Makhteienko in October.
This will be Berridge’s second world title shot, first being against South African Thomas Oosthuizen for the IBO World Light Heavyweight title. Berridge lost the bout by unanimous decision, however Oosthuizen lost his title due to failing to make weight. Last year, Berridge successfully defeated two of New Zealand’s top boxers, Including Sam Rapira and long time rival Adrian Taihia.
Berridge is hoping to become the fourth New Zealand born to hold a major World title following World Featherweight champion Torpedo Billy Murphy in 1890s, first ever IBF Women’s World champion Daniella Smith in 2010 and current WBO World Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker.
Other New Zealanders that are looking promising for a world title opportunity is Gentiane Lupi, Nailini Helu, Arlie Meleisea and Junior Fa. New Zealander Michelle Preston recently fought for an IBF World title in Argentina, however was defeated by Unanimous Decision.