By: Sean Crose
This one might not be bad at all – provided it goes down. The World Boxing Organization has ordered that it’s light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol square off against the uber-confident and undefeated number one contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. The good news here is that Bivol is represented by Matchroom, while Ramirez is repped by Golden Boy – and both organizations have contracts with that DAZN streaming service, a fact that should (“should” being the operative word here) make this fight easy to make. The camps of each fighter have until the 10th of August to make this fight a reality or it will go to purse big, meaning the highest bidder – whoever that may be – will get to promote the match.
The 20-0 Bivol is, of course, riding high after besting Canelo Alvarez in May. Canelo was looking to grab Bivol’s WBA strap, but was simply outboxed by the longtime titlist. Needless to say, the win sent reverberations throughout the sport. Canelo had a rematch clause with Bivol, but has decided to fight a third battle with arch rival Gennady Golovkin first. No doubt Bivol would welcome any chance to face Canelo again, buw not two big roadblocks are standing in the way: Golovkin and Ramirez. Should either Canelo or Bivol lose to their talented competition, the chances of a rematch between the two would clearly lessen.
There’s no doubt that the 44-0 Ramirez is thrilled with the opportunity before him. Beating the man who beat Canelo would be an extra feather in his hat. It would also give the experienced Mexican a second world title, as he has already held the WBC super middleweight crown. Both he and Bivol are 31 years old, which in this day and age arguably means they’re in prime form. Stylistically, Zurdo has developed a habit of laying men out. None of his last five opponents has made it to the final round. Bivol, on the other hand, is a walking, talking skill set. Make no mistake about it, the Russian is one of the most effective practitioners in the sport working today.
There may be some very big things ahead for the winner here. Canelo’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has reportedly made it clear that his fighter wants another crack at Bivol after the Golovkin fight this fall. Should Ramirez remove Bivol from his WBC belt, however, it may be Ramirez who Canelo will have his sights on after Golovkin.
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