By: Hans Themistode
The light heavyweight division has always been considered one of the more glamorous ones in the sport of boxing. However, as of late, the names associated with the top of the weight class have been placed on display for the world to see.
In December of 2021, current unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev registered his 17th consecutive knockout victory against Marcus Browne. The Russian native fought through bloody vision, which occurred following an inadvertent head butt, to score the stoppage win over the skilled contender in the ninth round.
Just one day later, on December 18th, highly ranked contender and former 168 pound titlist Gilberto Ramirez, moved his pristine record to 43-0 following a one-sided 10th round knockout victory over Yunieski Gonzalez.
Most recently, Joe Smith Jr. solidified his placement amongst the upper echelon of the 175 pound division. Just a few short weeks ago, Smith Jr. kicked off his 2022 by pummeling fringe contender Steve Geffrard, winning by knockout in the ninth round.
While the top of the weight class continues to display their talents, WBA belt holder Dmitry Bivol continues to do the same. After failing to enter the ring at all in 2020, Bivol ended his recent stretch of inactivity by registering back-to-back wins over fringe contenders Craig Richards and Umar Salamov.
Since nabbing the WBA title in 2017, Bivol has urged those in and around his division to take him on. While he has been a bit quiet as of late, Bivol reveals that he still craves showdown against big-name fighters including Beterbiev, Smith Jr., a fighter he easily outboxed in 2019, and newly crowned undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Although the paydays associated with those notable showdowns would be life-changing, Bivol is more interested in planting his flag at the top of the light heavyweight mountain.
“My motivation and my ambitions have not changed for a long time,” said Bivol during an interview with The Ring. “I want to fight the best. I want to prove that I am the best in my division.”
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