After defeating Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May, Dmitry Bivol could have locked up Fighter of the Year honors with a dominant win over Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. Bivol took a large resolution win to retain his WBA mild heavyweight championship.
Throughout his profession, Ramirez has discovered success by being an aggressive fighter who piled on strain and threw heaps of punches. That aggression was hardly ever on show in opposition to Bivol, with Ramirez hardly ever letting his fingers go, even when Bivol allowed himself to be caught alongside the ropes. In these moments, it was Bivol who would throw punches and circle away whereas Ramirez hesitated to have interaction.
Bivol labored his typical strategy, retaining a excessive and tight defensive shell to select off incoming photographs and dealing off a crisp jab. Using the jab as a blinding weapon, Bivol would then unload exhausting proper fingers that repeatedly related cleanly to Ramirez’s face.
Ramirez did make an try to extend his strain within the closing three rounds, however the slick and environment friendly recreation of Bivol allowed the Russian to nonetheless get the higher of most exchanges. Even within the closing spherical, with Ramirez clearly needing a knockout, it was Bivol who unloaded with flurries that appeared to buzz Ramirez.
“You know, the lion will not be the largest animal within the jungle,” Bivol stated after the combat of his means to pressure Ramirez to go backward. “But he is king. Yeah, Zurdo is greater than me but it surely would not matter.”
It was a disappointing outcome for Ramirez, who had lengthy known as for a combat with Bivol, sensing he had the recipe to be the primary man to defeat Bivol whereas additionally profitable a world title within the second weight class of his profession.
The closing scorecards learn 118-110, 117-111, 117-111 for Bivol, who improved to 21-0 in his profession. Ramirez suffered his first profession defeat, falling to 44-1.
Bivol now sits in an enviable place with seemingly two enormous fights in his future. Bivol has made it clear that his high precedence is to combat Artur Beterbiev, who holds the WBC, WBO and IBF titles, to crown an undisputed champion at mild heavyweight. With Beterbiev seemingly tied up with a deliberate combat with Anthony Yarde in early 2023, Bivol could as an alternative face Alvarez in a rematch that would supply huge monetary rewards.
Despite the profile and pay that comes with the Alvarez rematch, Bivol once more reiterated his need to combat Beterbiev as quickly as potential.
“I proved myself. I can beat one of the best man on this planet,” Bivol stated. “And now, I beat one other man who would not know what dropping is. I’ve one other objective, I wish to be undisputed champion. But all the pieces is less than me. It would not rely solely on me who I combat subsequent. We need to agree as a crew on which is healthier for us. But I hope they may take heed to me and what I need.”
Asked if he would take the Alvarez rematch if Beterbiev is unavailable till the second half of 2023.
“Of course, however I’m like a child who has a dream,” Bivol stated. “I wish to go to this dream. My coronary heart desires it however my mind and my thoughts perceive how issues are going. I wish to combat for an additional belt. If I haven’t got this opportunity in 4 or 5 months, I’ll take one other combat.”