By Gav Duthie: After Saturday night, the question needs to be asked should Dimitry Bivol be higher in the pound-for-pound rankings? He faced a man in Gilberto Ramirez who didn’t know how to lose.
Up until the weekend, he had fought 44 times against 43 different opponents and won them all. A giant at light heavyweight with power and a combination puncher, yet he faced Dimitry Bivol and got nowhere near him.
Bivol has been a world champion since 2017, but to the untrained eye, he hasn’t emerged until now. The first fight I actually saw him was winning that WBA title in an unheralded show in Monaco remembered for an upset when Derek Chisora lost to Agit Kabayel.
That night the perfect right hand through the guard caught my attention and thought we have someone special. It’s taken the boxing world a while to catch up to his talent, but here we are. The question is, should he be rated even higher?
1. Oleksandr Usyk
2. Naoya Inoue
3. Terence Crawford
4. Errol Spence Jnr
5. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
6. Vasyl Lomachenko
7. Dimitry Bivol
8. Josh Taylor
9. Jermell Charlo
10. Artur Beterbiev
First of all, it’s important to note what pound for pound really means. It’s about the skill of the fighter. Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko are best of mates. If they fought, Usyk would destroy him. He weighs 70 pounds more and has a 12-inch reach advantage.
The pound-for-pound point is if they were the same size, who is better just based on skill alone? I can’t argue with Usyk being number 1 because he has become a champion in a weight class he shouldn’t really be in beating a guy twice who towers over him. His skills beat the size.
Who would Bivol go above?
Lomachenko won’t be there for much longer. I think he loses his next fight, be it Devin Haney or Shakur Stevenson, and both of those guys will be P4P fighters in the future. Tyson Fury has dropped out of the list due to giving up the ring belt. I think Bivol should be ahead of Lomachenko and Canelo. I don’t think the rematch between Bivol and Canelo happens at 168 lbs, but I think if it does, Bivol still wins. I just think he is better. I always fancied him to win based on his ability (see link below), engine, and control in the ring.
For me, the top 4 remains the same. Like everyone else, I am disappointed that Crawford and Spence won’t face each other. Crawford hasn’t fought any real top fighters for a while, but he is still a super talent.
Bivol has only fought in 1 division, and his main rival Artur Beterbiev has 3 of the 4 belts, but Bivol is the man right now. He is a fighter of the year, without a doubt, and I still think the best is yet to come.