Dmitry Bivol reacted to David Benavidez’s mention of their past sparring by making it clear that it was just training.

Benavidez has talked about getting the better of WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (23-0, 12 KOs) in sparring, and it gave him confidence that he would beat him if they fought.

Sparring vs. Fighting

Bivol says sparring has nothing to do with fighting; he’s focusing on what his coach is telling him. It has nothing to do with how a fight would play out because he wouldn’t be working on a single thing that his coach would tell him to do.

After Benavidez’s performance last Saturday night in his debut at 175 against Oleksandr Gvozdyk, he’s not in a position to talk about what he would do against Bivol or IBF/WBC/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev. The power that Benavidez has at 168 didn’t carry up to 175, and he was very average.

Benavidez told the media that he will return to the 168-lb division after his win over Gvozdyk, and continue trying to get a title shot against Canelo Alvarez. It would be a wise move for Benavidez to stay at super middleweight because he doesn’t have the power or the stamina to compete against the top fighters at 175.

“I respect him as a fighter. He’s a really great fighter. What he’s saying that he wants to fight me and Beterbiev, it means he’s a great fighter. He’s confident, and he wants to achieve more,” said Dmitry Bivol to Fight Hub TV, reacting to being told that David Benavidez wants to fight him and Artur Beterbiev at 175.

“I remember we had a couple of good sparring. It was good moments from my side and some good moments from his side,” said Bivol, talking about the sparring that he had with Benavidez years ago.

Benavidez looked so bad in his fight against Gvozdyk that he would likely lose to a half dozen of the top contenders. He should ideally fight the highly ranked contenders like Willy Hutchinson and Anthony Yarde before fighting the winner of the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight.

Bivol’s Focus on Coaching Instruction

“It’s sparring. Sparring is sparring. You do some things which coach told you. You should do this and this, and you are trying one round. You couldn’t do it. In another round, you try to do this. In another round, you can do it once only, and you feel like you win this sparring because you did what the coach asked you.”

Maybe Benavidez feels he needs to brag about sparring with Bivol to give himself a confidence boost if he’s feeling insecure about fighting in the 175-lb division. Benavidez is the type of fighter who likes to pat himself on the back and let fans know how good he is. That’s the way he is.

“In the fight, of course, it’s different. In the fight, they ask you to do something. You will not waste your time if it’s not good. You will try to do another thing. Sparring is training,” said Bivol.

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