Dmitry Bivol, whose full name is Dmitry Yuryevich Bivol, is a professional Russian boxer of mixed ethnicity (Russian-Korean). He is of the East Slavic ethnic group (Russian) from his father’s side and Asian-Korean from his mother’s side.
As a result, many people refer to Bivol as a Russian-Korean boxer, and this is an ethnic mix that is becoming increasingly popular in the former Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). The pro-boxer first came to the spotlight when he out-boxed Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the former number 1 pound-for-pound master, in May 2022.
He has also increasingly been in the spotlight (with questions being asked about his ethnicity and nationality) in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Here’s more about Dmitry.
Dmitry Bivol is of Mixed Russian and Korean Ethnicity
Dmitry Bivo’s ethnicity mix is unique in every sense of the word. He is widely reported to be of Russian-Asian ethnicity. His father was born in Moldova when it was still part of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic, while his mother is of Asian Korean descent but was born in Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country that was also formerly part of the Soviet Republic.
Therefore, Dmitry’s father, who grew up speaking Romania as his mother tongue, is widely considered either an ethnic Moldovan or of Russian ethnicity. Moldova as a country has about 11 ethnic groups some of which include the native Moldovans, Gagauz people, Lipovans, Romanians, Bessarabian Bulgarians, etc.
On the other hand, his mother, Yelena Bivol, is Korean by ethnicity. The Koreans are considered a Northeast Asian group alongside the Japanese and Tungusic speakers and an ethnic minority in central Asian countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
What is Dmitry Bivol’s Nationality?
Dmitry Bivol is of Russian nationality though he was not born in Russia but instead in Central Asia. After Bivol’s birth on 18th December 1990 in Tokmok, a city in northern Kyrgyzstan, in the Chüy Valley, east of Kyrgyzstan’s capital city Bishkek, the now 31 years old Dmitry Bivol was raised in Kyrgyzstan or the Kyrgyz Republic which is a country in Central Asia landlocked by Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan in the west, Tajikistan in the south, and the People’s Republic of China in the east.
However, sometime in the early 2000s, Dmitry Bivol’s parents relocated from Kyrgyzstan to Russia when Dmitry was at least 10 or 11 years old. Dmitry grew up in this new country and over time, began identifying as Russian. But before now, he had already begun participating in boxing and other forms of martial arts from the age of 6.
Dmitry Bivol Represents Russia in Boxing
As a Russian, Dmitry Bivol won his first Russian national amateur boxing championship in 2012 and the second one in 2014 in the light heavyweight category. Ever since he turned a professional boxer in 2014, Dmitry has been representing Russia in several competitions in which he has emerged as a champion of many.
In a recent interview he granted where he was asked questions about his nationality, Bivol stated clearly that he is a Russian citizen. Continuing, he added that in his locker room, he has two flags hanging there – a Russian flag and a Kyrgyz flag. According to him, while the Russian flag represents where he got a lot of fighting experience, the Kyrgyz flag represents his roots, where he started boxing.
Who are Dmitry Bivol’s Parents?
Dmitry Bivol’s parents are Yelena Bivol (Korean mother) and Yuriy Bivol (Moldovan father). His parents are both farmers who met during the Soviet era (began 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991) as students. The duo later settled in Kyrgyzstan, which at the time was a hub for many ethnicities in the then-communist Soviet Republic.
Thus, it can be stated that while Dmitry’s father, Yuriy, is native to the Soviet region, his wife, Yelena, is an immigrant from Korea. Available reports have it that Koreans first entered the Russian Empire in large numbers about a century and half years ago (150 years). Since then, they have become a significant part of Russia’s heterogeneous ethnicity mix after the dissolution of the United Soviet Socialist Republic.
Dmitry Bivol’s Parents Didn’t Have it Easy Raising Him in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan
Dmitry Bivol has not disclosed any information regarding whether he is the only child of his parents or not. Therefore, it is taken that he is perhaps their only child for now. And contrary to the wealth he has amassed around himself and his family now, Dmitry’s parents actually struggled to raise him. His parents were farmers who rented land in the small town of Tokmok, where they farmed onions and wheat for sale.
And it was during their struggling days as farmers that they gave birth to Dmitry. In an interview, the professional boxer recollected spending most of his childhood days helping his parents on their farm. Apparently, life at the time was not easy for Dmitry Bivol’s parents as it was for many other families in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan.
The family had to make a lot of sacrifices to provide the basics for their child, more especially his interest in martial arts and later boxing at that time. However, when they relocated to Russia in the early 2000s, their fortune changed for good.