Eddie Hearn sees WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol as the favorite against mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez in their main event fight on DAZN. The fight card will occur at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Hearn says that Bivol’s recent victory over Canelo Alvarez is what gives him the edge over the unbeaten former WBO super middleweight champion ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs).
If not for Bivol’s win over Canelo last May, Hearn states that he would view Saturday’s clash as a 50-50 affair. What gives Ramirez a good shot of winning is his huge size for the light heavyweight division.
Gilberto is one of the biggest fighters in the 175-lb division, if not the biggest, and he’d be right at home in the cruiserweight division against the likes of Jai Opetaia and Lawrence Okolie.
Considering how large Ramirez is and what a great body puncher he is, it’s important that Bivol not stand directly in front of him for too long because he’ll use his size and cruiserweight-level strength to overpower him.
If Bivol wins, he could face either IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed championship or battle Canelo in a rematch if the Mexican star is feeling up to it.
“Zurdo against Bivol is one of the best match-ups in the sport. Before the Canelo Alvarez fight, Bivol-Zurdo was a 50-50 match up, really, because of his win over Canelo, it puts him in a pound-for-pound star,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about this Saturday’s title defense for WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol against mandatory Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
“I’m making him [Bivol] the favorite in the fight, but Zurdo is 44-0, a former world champion at 168. It’s just a brilliant, brilliant match-up,” Hearn continued. “You have to back Bivol after the Canelo victory, but this is a very, very good fight.
“I don’t think coming off the Canelo fight you can make it a 50-50, but Zurdo is an elite fighter. So it’s not like he’s not a proven competitor. He’s a former 168-lb champion. He’s a brilliant fighter.
“I see this as a 60-40 for Dmitry Bivol, but 60-40, 50-50. Zurdo is a huge, huge 175. I can’t believe he used to make 168. I just feel like Bivol; you never know, after the confidence of a victory like that, how many more levels you’ve got to go. I believe Dmitry Bivol is a special, special fighter,” said Hearn.