The WBA confirmed on Wednesday that Dmitriy Bivol must face his mandatory challenger Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez next rather than Joshua Buatsi.
Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) has earned his title shot against Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) by defeating Sullivan Barrera and Dominic Boesel in WBA 175-lb title eliminators.
Bivol vs. Ramirez should be an interesting fight to let boxing fans get another opportunity to see the talented Russian fighter showcase his skills against another elite-level Mexican fighter.
Bivol’s promoter Eddie Hearn had previously petitioned the World Boxing Association for them to allow Dmitry to delay the Ramirez fight until after he faces Buatsi.
For U.S fans, it’s no big deal that Bivol will need to fight former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez next. That’s a better fight on paper than Bivol-Buatsi.
Oscar De La Hoya’s statement on WBA ruling:
“We find the ruling fair and honest considering Zurdo Ramirez has fought two elimination bouts and has been the number one contender for this fight since his victory against Sullivan Barrera in 2021. We will continue to work hard to support Ramirez as he campaigns to one day become a two-division world champion.”
“After receiving a request for special permission to fight Joshua Buatsi from the champion and after an extensive study of the same, the WBA denied such permission,” said the WBA.
Ramirez, 31, has fought five times since moving up to 175 in 2019. He’s yet to fight a solid guy that could trouble him, though, which makes it hard to speculate how he’ll do against Bivol.
Dmitry is more mobile, faster, and throws more combinations than Ramirez. If Bivol fights Ramirez the way he did in his win over Canelo Alvarez, we should see a one-sided decision.
Ramirez’s promoter De La Hoya said recently that he would get revenge for Canelo and Mexico by beating Bivol. If that’s going to be De La Hoya’s marketing theme for the Bivol vs. Ramires fight, it might not work.
The only one that can avenge Canelo’s loss to Bivol is the Mexican star’s himself. Ramirez won’t be able to erase Canelo’s loss by beating Bivol.
“So Bivol and Ramirez will have until August 10 (as originally planned) to reach an agreement, or the fight will go to Purse bid,” the WBA added.