Should Dmitry Bivol be Pound for Pound No. 1?

By Boxing News - 10/30/2022 - Comments

By Ken Hissner: After unbeaten WBA Super World Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry (Dmitrii) Bivol defeated then considered the pound-for-pound No. 1 boxer IBF, WBA, WBC, and IBF World Super Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May of this year you would think he would replace him for that spot.

Alvarez had a sixteen-fight win streak broken since his majority decision loss to then WBA Super World Super Welter and WBC World Super Welter champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., 44-0. Scores were 117-111, 115-112, and 114-114.

Speaking of a 44-0 record, Bivol is defending his title against former WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 44-0, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi this Saturday, November 5th.

Bivol was the WBA Interim World Light Heavyweight champion when he won the WBA World title in November of 2017, knocking out Australia’s Trent Broadhurst, 20-1, in Monte Carlo.

It was Bivol’s eighth defense defeating Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. All three judges had it 115-113. Most reports like mine had it a little wider, like 116-112, and not the most entertaining fight, so who knows if a rematch is in order if Bivol defeats Ramirez. If Ramirez wins, Alvarez has said he won’t fight any more Latinos, so that would leave him out.

Bivol has said with a win over Ramirez next, if not a Canelo rematch it could be Russian-born WBC, WBO, and IBF World Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, 18-0 (18), in a unification match who fights out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and considered one of the hardest punchers in boxing. In June, he unified his two titles, stopping WBO champion Joe Smith, Jr., 28-3, in two rounds.

If Bivol adds Ramirez and Beterbiev to his list of wins, it would be hard to imagine he wouldn’t then be considered the pound-for-pound No. 1 in boxing. My question is, why wait and give him that recognition now? Certainly, the winner of his fight with Ramirez should be considered for that spot.

Bivol was born in Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan, in December of 1990 and lives in Indio, California and managed by Vadim Kornilov of Russia, who lives in L.A. Promoted by Andrey Ryabinsky of World of Boxing since 2014 and trained by Gennady Mashianov since 2010 in the amateurs.

Bivol’s amateur record is reported to be 90-11, fighting out of Russia and winning the Russian National championship in 2014. In November of that year, he turned professional, now being 20-0 with 11 stoppages. His first three fights were in Russia before making his USA debut, winning the WBC Silver title and knocking out Felipe Romero, 19-8-1, in Costa Mesa, CA.

In Bivol’s next fight, he won the WBA Inter-Continental title stopping Jackson Dos Santos, 17-4, in Russia. He added the WBA Interim World title defeating Felix Valera, 13-0, in Russia, in May of 2016. He defended that title twice, along with winning a pair of non-title bouts. His last eight fights have all been decision wins, along with defeating eight Latinos.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya are picking Ramirez to defeat Bivol.

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