Today in Abu Dhabi, WBA light-heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol won a wide 12 round decision over a physically massive-looking Gilberto Ramirez – in doing so making plenty more of us believe he is THE 175 pounder out there today. Bivol, making a ninth defence of his belt and coming off a huge, upset win over Canelo Alvarez, dominated “Zurdo” more so than he dominated the biggest current star in Mexican boxing.
After 12 rounds that saw Bivol sting Ramirez, make him pay for any mistakes he made, and put the bigger man on the back foot, the 31 year old Russian walked away with a wide points win – scores being 118-110, 117-111, 117-111. Bivol is now 21-0(11). Ramirez, who earned his shot and promised so much going in, loses for the first time in dropping to 44-1(30).
Lefty Ramirez, also 31, was expected to put severe pressure on Bivol, and Zurdo was vowing to out-punch the defending champ. Instead, Ramirez was forced to fight at a conservative rate, with plenty of his work being tentative as well as defensive. If anyone looked close to maybe forcing a stoppage, it was Bivol, this with his fast-handed bursts and his digging in, his looking to land hurt attitude.
As impressive as Bivol was today, it has to be reported how disappointing Ramirez was. The Mexican looked almost gargantuan next to Bivol, yet physical size was the least of it today. Bivol was faster, he was smarter, and he showed a far more aggressive mindset almost all the way through today’s fight. Bivol was never afraid to stand right in front of Ramirez, and he was, in the later rounds, gunning for the stoppage win that would have made such a statement for him.
Bivol came up short as far as the KO or stoppage he was seeking is concerned, but he showed us all, again, how formidable a fighter is. Can anyone beat Bivol? There is talk of a Bivol-Canelo II, and also of a unification showdown between Bivol and his countryman, Artur Beterbiev. Both fights are of course super interesting.
Yet as of right now, it seems as though Bivol has to be looked at as the hefty favourite to win either fight. Bivol has shown us all how special he is.