Reigning WBA light-heavyweight (175 lbs) titleholder Dmitry Bivol will defend his belt against former super-middleweight champ Gilberto Ramirez on Saturday night in a battle of unbeaten, world class talents. The bout will headline a Matchroom Boxing card on DAZN from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KO), 31, is currently in peak form. Back in May, the Russian pugilist upset Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by winning a unanimous decision over 12 rounds. Prior to that, Canelo had been unbeaten over the course of almost nine years and 16 fights, and was (and still is) the biggest draw in the sport. He was also regarded by many as the best fighter in the sport pound-for-pound before Bivol beat him.
Bivol will be looking to make the 10th defense of his WBA-Super World Title that he won back in 2016. While Bivol may be in the middle of an impressive stretch, he is currently in a knockout drought, with his last seven fights ending in a unanimous decision victory.
Ramirez (44-0, 30 KO), also 31-years-old, became the mandatory challenger for the WBA strap after knocking out Dominic Boesel in the fourth round back in May. The Mexican southpaw vacated his WBO super-middleweight title in 2019 to move up to 175-pounds. Since then, he’s won five fights by knockout or stoppage. But unlike Bivol, Ramirez is lacking that signature win in his career.
The winner of Saturday's match-up could be in line for an undisputed light heavyweight championship showdown against WBC, WBO & IBF title holder Artur Beterbiev. This could perhaps come as early as next year if the promotional companies of both parties are able to work together. Until then Bivol vs Ramirez is a rare treat for the hardcore boxing fanbase, as two unbeaten championship level talents meet in their prime and at the same age.
Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):
Canelo Alvarez - WIN by UD (115-113, 115-113, 115-113) - 07/05/2022
Umar Salamov - WIN by UD (119-109, 118-110, 118-110) - 22/11/2021
Craig Richards - WIN by UD (118-110, 115-113, 115-114) - 19/02/2021
Lenin Castillo - WIN by UD (120-107, 119-108, 119-108) - 19/10/2019
Joe Smith Jr. - WIN by UD (119-109, 119-109, 118-110) - 09/03/2019
Dominic Boesel - WIN by KO 4 - 14/05/2022
Yunieski Gonzalez - WIN by TKO 10 - 18/12/2021
Sullivan Barrera - WIN by KO 4 - 09/07/2021
Alfonso Lopez - WIN by TKO 10 - 18/12/2020
Tommy Karpency - WIN by TKO after 4 - 12/04/2019
Date: November 5th, 2022
Time: 5:30pm (GMT), 10:30 am (PT), 1:30pm (ET)
Venue: Ethiad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Elsewhere on the card
Two other world title fights are on the bill for Saturday night. In the co-main event, undisputed welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill (12-2, 5 KO) will drop down in weight to face Chantelle Cameron (16-0, 8 KO) for the undisputed light welterweight championship. Also, Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13 KO) will challenge for the vacant IBF super-featherweight title against Britain's Zelfa Barrett (28-1, 16 KO).