Undefeated light heavyweight contender and former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez (44-0, 30 KOs) will finally get his long-awaited world title shot against unbeaten WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) this Saturday, November 5th. This intriguing twelve-round matchup between two of the best light heavyweight fighters in the world will occur at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, live on DAZN (excluding Russia, South Korea, and MENA regions).
“I am really happy and motivated because I have waited for this world title shot for a long time. I cannot wait to be in Abu Dhabi on November 5th,” said Ramírez, who is ranked first by the WBA and second by the WBO.
The thirty-one-year-old southpaw fighter from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, who lives in California, fought not one but two WBA world title eliminators (knocking out Yunieski Gonzalez and Dominic Boesel in the tenth and fourth round, respectively) while he waited for Bivol to give him his long overdue mandatory world title shot. Even when the WBA ordered Bivol to fight Ramírez, Bivol tried to get the WBA to allow him to fight Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs, and is ranked a spot behind Ramírez in the WBA light heavyweight divisional rankings) instead, which the WBA denied.
“He has been avoiding me for the last couple of years, but now, he has nowhere to go, so now is the time,” said Ramírez. “It will be an exciting fight for me and the fans, and this is a fight that the fans have been asking for a long time. Now, two of the best fighters in the light heavyweight division will fight one another.”
Bivol has made eight world title defenses (dating back to 2018), including an upset, dominating twelve-round unanimous decision over four-division world champion and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, in his last fight. That victory propelled Bivol to be considered one of the top ten boxers in the world. The thirty-one-year-old orthodox boxer from Russia who resides in California is favored to retain his world title again when he fights Ramírez.
“It is good that he is favored to win because it motivates me even more for this fight. As a proud Mexican, it would be an honor for me to get revenge for the Mexican people after [fellow countrymen] Canelo’s loss,” said Ramírez.
Ramírez defeated former three-time, two-division world titleholder Arthur Abraham in April 2016 for the WBO super middleweight title, making him the second Mexican fighter to win a world title above middleweight. He made five world title defenses over two and a half years (three of which were against unbeaten fighters), then he moved up to the light heavyweight division.
“Beating Bivol would allow me to become a two-division world champion, which would be a big accomplishment for me,” said Ramírez.
Bivol versus Ramírez features two of the best fighters at 175 pounds, with a combined record of 64-0 with 41 knockouts, making for an exciting and riveting matchup. Both boxers have excellent power punching and devastating knockout capabilities. Ramírez will be the bigger fighter in the ring. He is two inches taller than Bivol, has a three-inch reach advatange, and for his fights in the light heavyweight division, he usually rehydrates on the day of the bout close to 200 pounds. Ramírez works the body well, has a great work rate, and is the more powerful puncher. Bivol is the more skilled and technically sound fighter. He has better hand speed, mobility, and combination punching. He has fought his entire career in the light heavyweight division and has faced better opposition. They both fought former world title challenger Sullivan Barrera, their lone common opponent. Bivol knocked him out in the twelfth round in 2018, and Ramírez stopped him in the fourth in 2021.
“I will win this fight. My body punches, high work rate, size, and power will be too much for Bivol. I will wear him down in the second half of the fight,” said Ramírez, who has scored five consecutive knockouts since he moved up to the light heavyweight division. “Once I win, I can unify this division.”
The winner of this bout will put themselves in a position to unify the light heavyweight division against IBF/WBC/WBO world champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) next year, assuming he defeats his mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs). They will potentially fight on January 28th if Yarde wins his tuneup bout on November 19th against Stefani Koykov.
“Everyone will see my potential after this fight when my hand is raised and I take Bivol’s belt,” said Ramírez.