By J.J. Alvarez
Powerful Mexican puncher Gilberto Ramírez repeatedly professed that he would avenge the setback that Dmitry Bivol inflicted on Saúl Canelo Álvarez last May. However, it is much easier to say than to actually do. On November 5[SUP]th[/SUP] in Abu Dhabi, Ramírez was also defeated by Bivol by unanimous decision
Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), the undefeated WBA super champion, showed that although he may not have the punching power of “Zurdo” Ramírez (44-1, 30 KOs), nor his height, he does have a more exquisite boxing style based on speed, skills and a synchronization of both attack and defense.
Born in Kyrgyzstan, but a longtime resident of St. Petersburg, Russia, Bivol once again fulfilled his tactical plan, thanks to an annoying jab which he frequently combined with a precise right hand, while moving around the ring to avoid the devastating blows of Ramírez.
The three officials agreed on Bivol's victory: Stanley Christodoulou and Pawel Kardyni delivered scorecards of 117-111, while Jean-Robert Laine scored the fight 118-110.
At the end of the fight, Bivol, satisfied with his performance, stated, "I proved myself that I can beat the best guy in the world [in Canelo Alvarez], I was happy. And now, I beat another guy who doesn't know what [losing] is. It means a lot for me.” In reference to his ability to force Ramirez to back up, Bivol said, "You know, the lion is not the biggest animal in the jungle, but he's king. Yeah, Zurdo is bigger than me, but it doesn't matter."
On May 7, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Bivol also won convincingly against the redheaded Mexican "Canelo" Álvarez, despite a close score from the trio of judges who all saw the fight 115-113.
With the victory against Ramírez, Bivol retained the WBA belt in his tenth defense. He has held the title since 2017, when he was elevated from interim champion to “regular” champion in the light heavyweight category.
While still in the ring at the Etihad Arena, Bivol dropped the bombshell that boxing fans were hoping to hear. "I have a goal; I want to be undisputed champion. But everything is not up to me. It doesn't depend only on me who I fight next. We have to agree as a team on which is better for us. But I hope they will listen to me and what I want," Bivol said.
Although Bivol wants the opportunity to face Beterviev and unify the belts, he added, “I'm like a kid who has a dream. I want to go to this dream. My heart wants it but my brain and my mind understand how things are going. I want to fight for another belt. If I don't have this chance in four or five months, I will take another fight."
Beterbiev, 37, known by the pseudonym "The Steamroller", has beaten 18 rivals within the distance. In his last fight, which was on June 18[SUP]th[/SUP] against American Joe Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs), Beterbiev won by TKO in the second round.
Coincidentally, when Smith faced Bivol in March of 2019 in New York, he lost unanimously and, in a landslide, with all three judges submitting scorecards of 119-109.
There is one obstacle in the way of a possible matchup between Bivol and Beterbiev, as Beterbiev must first face Britain's Anthony Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) on January 28[SUP]th[/SUP] in England. The duel was originally scheduled for the end of October, but a minor injury to Beterbiev forced a January postponement. Mark Ramsey, Beterbiev's trainer, explained that the injury was not serious and that after beating Smith Jr., the fighter had undergone minor surgery on his right knee.
“It wasn’t even arthroscopic surgery, it was just to clean out the interior [of his knee],” Ramsay told Le Journal de Montreal last week. “Some of the tissue had deteriorated over time. It was really a minor thing. After the operation, he took two weeks off and he has already returned to training.”
“Unification fights are more interesting, more motivating,” Beterbiev said following his victory over Smith in June. “I prefer unification fight [with Bivol]. I want to be undisputed.”
Article submitted by Jorge Juan Alvarez in Spanish.
Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.