Dmitry Bivol v Gilberto Ramirez: The “O” Must Go!
On November 5 at the Etihad Arena in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs) will take on mandatory challenger and former WBO 168-pound champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-0, 30KOs). The fight will air live on DAZN.
Ramirez, a former world champion at super middleweight, will finally get his chance against Bivol, a man he’s accused of ducking. Zurdo is one of the better fighters in and around his division. However, he hasn’t always displayed that on a consistent basis. A big, tall, rangy fighter, he has the skills, size, and power to cause Bivol major issues and walk out with his WBA strap in the process.
The Mexican is coming off of a one-sided knockout destruction of Dominic Boesel in his last fight. In that fight, he was clicking on all cylinders, and he showcased his skills as he used his jab to set up a very varied offensive attack on his overmatched opponent.
WBA champion Dmitry Bivol comes into this fight with a high sense of confidence after his upset win over undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez in May. One of the best skilled fighters in boxing, he finally put together a complete performance in the biggest fight of his career. Often criticized for his lack of offensive prowess, he silenced that in the Alvarez bout.
As his attention is now solely on Zurdo, a much different fighter, it’ll be interesting to see how he approaches this fight. Against Alvarez, Bivol was able to walk down the smaller man and be the aggressor. In this fight, he’ll be the smaller man. Blessed with excellent boxing skills and a high ring IQ, it’ll be interesting to see if he elects to take the fight to Zurdo or reverts back to his days of simply being content to out-box his bigger opponent.
This is one of the better fights that will happen this year, at least on paper. You have two fighters who can do a multitude of things. Zurdo carries the size and power while Bivol brings the skills and IQ. This fight should be closely contested. However, in the end, I see Bivol’s skillset leading him to a victory by split decision to retain his title. If he’s able to win, hopefully a showdown with unified 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev can happen in 2023 for undisputed status in the light heavyweight division.
By: Jerrell Fletcher