By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is working on inking Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez to match him against Dimitry Bivol in the summer. Before Hearn makes that fight, he’ll have Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) defend his WBA light heavyweight title against #8 WBA Craig ‘Spider’ Richards.
That’s a fight that Richards’ team wants, and Hearn wants to give him the title shot. Richards is coming off a big ninth-round knockout win over Shakan Pitters last December.
Richards would be like a tune-up for Bivol, who hasn’t fought since his win over Lenis Castillo in October 2019.
It’s important that the 30-year-old Bivol get the rust out before Hearn matches him against former WBO 168-lb champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs).
Bivol vs. Zurdo Ramirez possible for summer
“The problem with Dimitry Bivol is, he’s not a household name yet, and he’s been making great money,” said Hearn to iFL TV. “Now the market has readjusted and it’s been more difficult for him to get the fight fights.
“I like the Gilberto Ramirez fight, that’s another one I’m trying to make for the summer. But I would like to give Craig Richards the opportunity first [against Bivol].
“We’re talking and I’ve offered him the Dimitry Bivol fight,” said Hearn about wanting to sign Gilberto Ramirez. “The conversations with Dimitry Bivol is to fight Craig Richards and if he wins, then fight Ramirez after that,” said Hearn.
Craig Richards (14-1-1 9 KOs) won’t be any problem for Bivol to beat, but it’s nice that Hearn isn’t writing him off in public.
Richards has already been beaten by Frank Buglioni by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in 2017.
In 2019, Richards, 30, fought to an eight-round draw against Craig Sugden (11-2-1, 4 KOs). I think you get the idea. Richards is a domestic-level fighter, who has been given a very generous #8 ranking by the IB and WBA.
Beterbiev vs. Bivol later in 2021
“Yes,” Hearn said when asked if Bivol will fight IBF/WBC 175lb champion Artur Beterbiev in 2021.
“If Joe Smith wins the world title, they’ll do Beterbiev against Joe Smith, and that’s a really good fight. Together with Bob [Arum], we’ll make Beterbiev against Bivol. It’s an absolute pound-for-pound great clash,” said Hearn.
It’s going to be difficult for Hearn to squeeze in the fight between Bivol and IBF/WBC 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) in 2021.
Beterbiev already has two fights planned this year against Adam Deines on March 20th, and then against the winner of the Joe Smith Jr vs. Maxim Vlasov fight.
In a perfect world, Beterbiev and Bivol will meet for the undisputed championship in 2021.
It’ll be a great fight with talented Russian fighters battling it out for the #1 spot in the light heavyweight division. But realistically, it’s more likely we’ll see Beterbiev and Bivol meet up in the first quarter of 2022.