Dmitry Bivol – Fighter of the Year for 2022 for ESPN

By Boxing News - 12/16/2022 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Dmitry Bivol’s victories over Canelo Alvarez and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez make him ESPN’s Fighter of the Year for 2022.

It was an obvious choice in giving the unbeaten WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) the Fighter of the Year award because he schooled the superstar Canelo, giving him his first loss since his defeat against Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013, and he also defeated the previously unbeaten Zurdo Ramirez.

Bivol likely would have given Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) the second defeat in 2022 if the Mexican star hadn’t chosen to sidestep the rematch to face Gennadiy Golovkin instead in September.

Canelo had initially wanted to fight Bivol a second time this year, but he changed his mind and went in the direction of the 40-year-old Golovkin.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Bivol can repeat in 2023 in becoming Fighter of the Year a second time. To do that, Bivol will need to defeat Artur Beterbiev and possibly David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo if those fighters are willing to face him.

“I think it will be unanimous for Dmitry Bivol after being the first man to defeat Canelo Alvarez since Floyd Mayweather did in September 2013, and in the same way. Although the cards said different, it was a clear victory for Bivol,” commentator Bernando Osuna said to ESPN Deportes about WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol being voted Fighter of the Year for 2022 for his wins over Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez and Canelo Alvarez.

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“Not only in that send, he [Bivol] closes the year taking away the undefeated record of Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez in Abu Dhabi. I think for the entire year, very few will disagree with that in the boxing world.”

Canelo was slightly more competitive against Bivol than Ramirez, but not by much. It was surprising to see how overmatched Canelo was against Bivol. It had nothing to do with Bivol’s size advantage, as he outboxed Canelo and schooled him rather than imposing his size.

Canelo was throwing single shots and having them pickled off on the arms & gloves of Bivol. Surprisingly there was no adapting by Canelo in the fight, and that was odd for someone that is viewed as beinng a great boxer.

Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso wanted him to take the fight to Bivol and put his shots together, but wouldn’t do it. The instructions from Reynoso were excellent, but Canelo didn’t follow orders.