Dmitry Bivol calls for 'peace' as the WBA could block his title fight against Canelo Alvarez

Dmitry Bivol is hoping for 'peace' following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and says Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko should 'do what they have to do' to protect their country.

Bivol is preparing to defend his WBA regular light heavyweight title against Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez on May 9 as his opponent bids to become a two-time champion at 175lbs.

After Canelo confirmed his two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing, he held a press conference to promote his fight with Bivol in San Diego on Wednesday.

However, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine soon became a talking point at the media event.

Bivol, undefeated from 19 professional bouts, has been a long-time resident of St Petersburg and is a Russian citizen but has not vocally supported Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Dmitry Bivol

The 31-year-old, originally born in Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan, said: "I have a lot of friends in Ukraine,' Bivol said. 'I have a lot of friends in Russia. My family is in Russia.'

"It's really sad for me. Every day I wake up and read the news and I hope it will stop."

Heavyweight champion Usyk and three-division king Lomachenko have both been pictured in military gear and carrying rifles this week with Usyk stating he is ready to 'take a life' to protect Ukraine.

Bivol was asked about both Ukrainian fighters and told FightHype: "It is hard to comment on something related to people defending their home country.

"As athletes, I respect them a lot, they are some of the best in the world and as people, I respect them a lot.

"But their choices and the things that they do, it is very individual. I make my own choices, they make their own choices. They have to do what they do."

Bivol is still scheduled to face Canelo despite the WBC, IBF and WBO delivering a series of sanctions this week.

Russian and Belarusian boxers will be stopped from entering the ring with their flag nor will the respective national anthems be played.

However, a recent WBA statement suggests if the fight does happen then it will be without a title on the line.

"Russian and Belarusian officials will also be banned from participating in world and/or regional championship fights, according to a resolution from the WBA Executive Committee."

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