Dmitry Bivol Earns 2022 Fighter of the Year for Dominating Top Talent
For 2022, 3kingsboxing.com recognizes Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) as Fighter of the Year. When the stakes rise, the elite fighters can step up their level of performance and bring their A-game. Bivol did that in droves over the last calendar year.
RAISING HIS BAR
Hardcore boxing heads were aware of Bivol for years. He had the reputation of being a quality fighter. But two questions were hovering over the reigning WBA light heavyweight champion. One, how good is he, truly? Two, would Bivol ever secure a high-profile, big-name test that would show his greatness?
In May 2022, Bivol defended the title against reigning undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2, 38 KOs). Facing the best and most accomplished opponent of his career, Bivol was terrific en route to a unanimous decision win. The champ only won the fight by two points on all three judges’ scorecards. That doesn’t tell how well Bivol fought. He was dominant from the opening bell.
Next was the battle against mandatory challenger Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) in November 2022. Ramirez came into the contest as an unbeaten, one-time WBO champion at 168. On fight night, Zurdo looked to be the significantly larger fighter.
Bivol scoffed at the size differential and put on another masterful performance. He did more than simply outbox Ramirez. At times, he took the fight to Zurdo, forcing him to fight on the back foot. The champ did whatever he wanted on the way to a clear-cut decision victory.
STANDING ABOVE THE REST
Were there other candidates in the running for Fight of the Year? Absolutely. The thing that separated Bivol from the rest of the pack was the caliber of opposition he faced. Heading into his bout against Alvarez, some pundits had the super middleweight champ ranked as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. Those same observers considered Ramirez one of the better fighters from 168-175.
To not only win but excel and be in total command when facing the best of the best has to mean something. No one had a more dominant and impressive year than Bivol.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.