Dmitry Bivol set to defend his WBA light-heavyweight title against Craig Richards in April

Craig Richards says he can “break down” Dmitry Bivol after confirming that talks are “moving in the right direction” for a WBA light-heavyweight title fight in Britain.

The south Londoner has been selected as a potential challenger for Bivol, who is set to end a lengthy absence from the ring with a WBA title defence in April.

‘Spider’ Richards, ranked at No 8 by the WBA, welcomed the opportunity to test himself at the highest level after his explosive knockout win over Shakan Pitters in December.

“There’s been negotiations for this fight for the last few weeks, back and forth, Richards told Sky Sports.

“It seems like it’s moving in the right direction.

“That’s the fight I wanted. Exactly the time I wanted it.”

Asked about a possible date and venue, he said: “I know it will be April, and I think it will be over here, as far as I’ve heard.”

Bivol has earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest fighters at 175lbs, having racked up a 17-fight unbeaten record, but he has been inactive since October 2019.

“You don’t get much bigger than Dmitry Bivol at my weight,” said Richards. “I think he’s a good boxer. He’s got a lot of things he does well. He’s very seasoned. I can see there’s flaws in him as well.

“This is the sort of fight where I will of course go through all my gears and show what I’m really about. I feel like stylistically, he’ll bring the best out of me.

“It will be tougher than the domestic fighters I’ve been knocking out, but I believe I’ve got enough IQ, enough skill and enough punch power to gain his respect and break him down over the duration.

“He’s a man, he’s a human being, two arms, two legs, just like myself. I hit very hard, I’ve got a good boxing brain and I’ve got a good chin myself, and I believe I’ve got the tools to win.”

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