Sergey Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol defend world titles on Madison Square Garden bill
Last Updated: 04/03/18 8:40am
Sergey Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol remained on collision course by retaining their light-heavyweight world titles in New York.
'Krusher' defended his WBO strap with a seventh-round stoppage of Igor Mikhalkin with WBA counterpart Bivol beating the experienced Sullivan Barrera, 36, in the final round, at the famous Madison Square Garden.
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Kovalev (32-2-1-KO28) has been linked with a unification fight with Badou Jack, the former super-middleweight now his No 1 challenger in the WBO rankings after Barrera went down the WBO route.
Jack is expected to take on long-standing WBC holder Adonis Stephenson in May, and with both Kovalev and Bivol aiming to unify at 175lbs, both know they will have to meet if they want to own the division.
"If it's a big money fight I'm ready now," Kovalev told HBO.
'Krusher' did a familiar job on Mikhalkin, his vicious right and his non-stop shots causing serious damage to his face before referee Steve Willis stepped in and the ringside doctor called it off, in the seventh round.
Bivol (13-0-KO11), the youngest of the current champions, was in against an old head in Barrera and while he admitted that at just 27, and making only his second WBA defence, he is still learning, his growing power had him ahead on the cards before it was called to a stop halfway through the final round.