Champ Bivol dominant in latest title bout (VIDEO)
Dmitry Bivol’s reputation has been further enhanced after he scored a one-sided win against the previously unbeaten Mexican star Gilberto Ramirez in Abu Dhabi late on Saturday.
Russian-Kyrgyz champion Bivol, 31, stunned the boxing community in May when he became the first man in almost a decade to defeat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, outpointing the Mexican icon to retain his WBA (Super) light-heavyweight title. He played spoiler to another Mexican standout as he handed Ramirez his first-ever loss in his 45th career bout.
Bivol, who was giving away two inches in height and three inches in reach, didn’t allow the size disparity to dictate the fight as he fought off Ramirez’s peppering jabs.
The champion landed the first telling blow of the contest – a straight right which tested the Mexican’s chin – and he continued to use impressive footwork to avoid any type of riposte from his opponent.
By the fourth, Bivol’s supremacy was beginning to show. He was finding a home for his right hand, with one combination sending Ramirez in retreat to the ropes.
Ramirez – who was 44-0 heading into the fight – showed signs of being able to hang in there but, while he was occasionally able to steady the ship, he had difficulties in sustaining any offense of his own and it was Bivol who continued to land the cleaner strikes.
By the twelfth round, it was clear that Ramirez needed a finish if he was to maintain his unbeaten career record. While he displayed admirable grit, however, he was unable to overcome Bivol’s superior technique.
Bivol ultimately triumphed on the scorecards 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 after 12 rounds in what was the tenth defense of the world title he has now held for more than five years.
“I’m glad to have beaten Zurdo,” Bivol said afterwards. “44 fights he won before. Now I’m the first to beat him. Three years ago, I first wanted to fight him. This means a lot to me.
“He’s slower than me. I could see his punches coming. When I landed, he countered to the body. That was it. He’s slow but he has good timing. In sparring session, I tried to push forward. He throws a lot of punches, which tells me you are not strong. When your opponent is not strong, you can push forward.”
Attention now turns to a rumored rematch between Bivol and Canelo, perhaps even with Bivol moving down in weight to challenge for the Mexican’s undisputed super middleweight crown.
And while Bivol says that’s an option, he maintains there are also other challenges potentially awaiting him.
“I think we could talk about it, of course,” he teased. “It’s not my preference, but we could.”