By: Sean Crose
WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol is riding high after besting the one and only Canelo Alvarez last spring. Yet his next bout won’t be a rematch with boxing’s biggest star. Rather, it will be against undefeated former super middleweight titlist Gilberto Ramirez, a man widely known around the boxing world as “Zurdo.” It’s a solid matchup, one which will go down November 5th at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The match will be broadcast here in North America by the DAZN streaming service.
“Dmitry Bivol has now secured himself with pound-for-pound status after his victory over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May and looks to make a hugely important defence against Mandatory Challenger and former World Champion Gilberto Ramirez,” Promoter Eddie Hearn claimed. “The card will be stacked with World Championship fights and is set to be one of the biggest nights of boxing in 2022.” Hearn also spoke highly of the fight’s location. “I’m delighted to bring this huge World Title fight to Abu Dhabi and would like to thank Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for all of their help in making this world-class event become a reality,” he added. “Roll on November 5 for a huge night of World Championship boxing live on DAZN.”
As for defending titlist Bivol, he’s eager to square off with the colorful Ramirez. “The fight with Zurdo has been brewing for some time, many things have been said,” he said. “Now we have the chance to take care of things with our actions in the ring, and not our words outside of the ring.” Ramirez, too, is excited for the opportunity to face the highly regarded Bivol in the ring.
“I’m happy that the fight is finally happening despite all the challenges,” Ramirez said. “It’s been a long time coming and I look forward to a great night come November 5. I would fight Bivol anywhere – including Mars, but I know we’ll put on a great show in Abu Dhabi. I’m happy overall and very thankful to the WBA, Mr. Gilberto Mendoza and the Golden Boy family for being on this journey with me.”
Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Ramirez, has made it clear that this is his fighter’s time to shine. “We are headed to Abu Dhabi,” he said, “and Zurdo will prove he is the best Light-Heavyweight when he fights Bivol on November 5.”