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April 14, 2017



Dmitry Bivol: 174.6 pounds vs. Samuel Clarkson: 173.4; 
Malik Hawkins: 146 vs. Carlos Soto: 148; 
Glenn Dezurn: 120 vs. Leroy Davila: 119 
The plan was to become world champion in my first 10 fights.  Were almost there.  
Clarkson is a big light heavyweight, but I have fought bigger guys.  This is a tough fight, but we were willing to take a risk for this opportunity to fight on TV.
I did have a transition from amateur to pros.  The WSB helped that transition and gave me experience.  Ive been able to learn from fight to fight, and Ive gained experience in each fight.
Ive been trying to be more aggressive and control the pace of the fight.  Im comfortable going forward and backward.  
Well feel out the power and timing in the beginning.  I know what people expect of me they want the KO and if the opportunity comes Ill try to finish him.
Working at Wild Card has been a big difference.  Training in the U.S. is completely different.  In Russia its mostly amateurs, so you get used to the wrong style.  Most of what Ive learned has been from sparring with pros here in the U.S.  
Clarkson usually comes forward.  He seems uncomfortable moving back.  We think we can use our advantages to cap on his mistakes and get him out of his comfort zone.
Im not an underdog.  Ive fought my way up here to this position and the winning streak.  I feel like Ive proven myself to be here.  My losses have helped me get to where I am.  I know I belong here.
Ive never been one to get knocked down and stay down.  Im ready for whatever comes.  The pressure isnt on me.  I just need to do my thing.  
Ive been in some wars.  I know what its like to get knocked down.  He hasnt been there before.  I need to stand my ground.  Im not backing up.  
I want to see what the hype is about.  His whole career is my winning streak.  
Ive been sparring with top quality guys.  Im ready for this fight.  Its a big opportunity and I dont feel any pressure.
He hasnt been in wars like we have.  Its hard when you face a guy like me that isnt afraid of you.  Hes one dimensional.  We want to make him as uncomfortable as possible.  
Were coming to take his belt.  Hes going to have to stop us from taking it.  Hes never faced anyone like me a really fast fighter with a lot of power.
Ill do whatever it takes.  If I have to come forward, Ill come forward.  If I have to box, Ill box.  
Hawkins a smart fighter, fast, tall.  He likes to fight at a distance.  I need to pressure him to win the fight.  
Ive faced fighters as tall as him before.  This isnt new for me.  
Ive only been in the U.S. once before, and Ive never fought here.  I need to take advantage of this experience.
My goal is to go for it.  I want to be the best in my weight class.  Everything starts now for me.
I grew up with Gervonta (Davis).  I saw him win the title, Ive seen his success, and now its my turn.  Its been great motivation for me.  For him to become a champion motivated me even more.  
Weve sparred 1,000s of rounds with Gervonta.  Weve been in there with the champ and know its our time.
Were here to prove were ready.  We dont want to take any shortcuts.  Were taking this one fight at a time.  Were building and building.  
Im tall, but I have an inside game.  I fight inside better than a short fighter.  
People dont want to take the chance to fight me.  Credit to Soto for taking the fight, but hes going to learn the hard way why no one wants to fight me.
We knew this was coming some day and now its here.  We know all about Dezurn.  Hes the perfect opponent for us.  We know can break him down.
When I didnt make the Olympic team, I got right over it.  But I wasnt sure I was going to turn pro.  I have a family to take care of and I cant let anything distract me from being a father.  But now Im 5-0 and fighting on national TV.  This is the moment Ive been waiting for.
Dezurn is an aggressive and has a lot of heart, but Im not worried about him.  I need to focus on myself.  
A win puts me in the conversation with the other up-and-coming fighters.  A win could really change my career.
Sparring with my wife helps me.  She hits like a dude.  Shes taught me a lot she taught me discipline.  We push each other in the gym; we make each other better fighters. 
If you can make an adjustment with a sharp female woman, theres no reason you cant do it with a man.  
I like to break down my opponents.  I become aggressive when I see a weakness.  
Im ready to fight.   Im ready to get in there.  I worked hard and now its time to have fun.  
I sparred with RauShee (Warren) for this fight.  He has tremendous talent.  Hes an inspiration for me.  We also sparred with Vasyl Lomachenko for this fight.  You have to be physically and mentally in shape to fight him.

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