Dmitry Bivol Banned From Carrying Russian Flag & Playing National Anthem In Tonights Fight Vs Canelo

The Russian national anthem and flag have been banned for tonight's fight in Las Vegas between Dmitry Bivol and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez with more sporting sanctions against Russia.

Dmitry Bivol is banned from playing Russian national anthem or carrying countries flag for tonight's fight against Canelo
Dmitry Bivol carrying the Russian flag for his fight tonight against Canelo Alvarez

Dmitry Bivol, who is undefeated in 19 fights, puts his WBA light-heavyweight title on the line against pound-for-pound number 1 Canelo Alvarez, who is moving up a weight class to face him.

It is normal procedure for the national anthems of both fighters to be played before the opening bell rings, however, for Bivol, he will not be allowed to enter the ring with a Russian flag or have the Russian national anthem played.

Following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been hit with many sanctions within the sporting world, and boxing is no different.

Three of boxing's largest governing bodies - the IBF, WBO, and WBC - all vowed to block championship fights that involved boxers from either Russia or Belarus.

The WBA, the championship which Bivol holds, stopped short of such sanctions, meaning Bivol is free to defend his title but is not allowed to enter the ring showcasing the Russian flag, nor is the national anthem allowed to be played, his country will also not be named during his ring walk.

Bivol told The Guardian this week that his father would normally travel from St Petersburg to watch his fights, however, on this occasion he cannot be present as he was unable to get a visa to enter the United States.

Dmitry Bivol is a Russian citizen, he was born in Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan, but has been a long-time resident of St Petersburg.

When questioned about the war in Ukraine, Bivol said he wishes "only for peace".

Former heavyweight champion and current mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko, has called for all Russian boxers to be banned as part of sanctions against the country.

Dmitry Bivol responded to those comments by saying: "All his career I supported him, I liked how he was fighting, and of course, I was glad when he won.

"He is a sportsman, he should know sports and politics are different. He was an athlete. Now he is a politician. It is sad that he wants to shake it up and mix sport and politics."

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