Isaac Chilemba has a second chance to become world champion as he prepares to take on Dmitry Bivol for the WBA light-heavyweight title.
The 31-year-old takes on the Russian this weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlanta City and is relishing his shot at glory.
He said: “I would like Dmitry Bivol for giving me this opportunity. I want to thank Main Events and I want to thank my team. I would like to thank my manager, Jodi Solomon, for her good work. I want to thank Roy Jones. I want to thank all the fans, Hard Rock and HBO for this opportunity.”
The Malawian understands the task he faces against Bivol, who is undefeated from 13 bouts.
“I am fighting a youngster. He is a hard-hitting young fighter. The only thing I can do is work harder. I want to become a world champion. I rely on my team, Jodi and Roy, to help me bring my A game and this is my chance to showcase my skills. This is my opportunity to show the world what I can do.”
WBO champion Sergey Kovalev is also in action, headlining the card to defend his WBO crown against Eleider Alvarez.
Chilemba, who was beaten on points by Kovalev back in 2016, refused to predict the outcome of the light-heavyweight contest.
He said: “They are both tough fighters. One is more of a boxer and one is more of a puncher. The one who will win the fight on August 4 is going to be the one that comes out with their A game. The one that is going to bring their A game will be victorious. I cannot say which one that will be because I don’t know how they are going to be on August 4. But the one that brings their A game will be the winner.”
Jodi Solomon, Manager of Isaac Chilemba, is expecting a career-best performance from her fighter.
Solomon said: “I think you are correct in assuming he is the heavy underdog. If you look at Isaac’s past and his history, that is when Isaac performs the best. When he has been favored to win, unfortunately, that has been when things seem to go wrong. I am very happy that he is being assumed as the underdog in this fight.”
“As far as I am concerned, I believe Isaac’s speed and agility in the ring, and his experience, will be enough to help him get through the fight. I don’t believe that Dmitry Bivol has faced anyone like Isaac but I do believe that Isaac, in his 32 professional fights, has faced a fighter like Dmitry Bivol.”