Dmitry Bivol made a case for fighter of the year in 2022 by outclassing two highly-rated Mexican fighters in Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
The WBA Light Heavyweight Champion won via unanimous decision against Álvarez in May. The nature of result perhaps highlights how good a performance Bivol produced, considering he was facing Canelo in Vegas on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
If people thought that he should win since Canelo was making a jump up to 175lb from his more comfortable 168lb, there could be no doubt that Bivol is an elite talent when he outboxed Ramirez – a man his size – over 12 rounds in November.
When speaking to the The DAZN Boxing Show recently, the Russian Champion picked a clear winner in terms of power – and the smaller man came out on top.
“Canelo is more powerful fighter. Canelo punch more harder than Ramirez. To be honest, I spent a lot more energy in fight against Canelo. I have to work every round, I have to win every round. With Ramirez, I thought, I can make a pause and do it again.”
High praise for Canelo, who has 39 knockouts from his 58 wins. It also bodes well for the Mexican that Bivol didn’t have as perhaps as relaxed a night as many fans thought, considering a rematch is at the top his list for 2023.
Bivol may have other plans, though. The win over Ramirez, testing or otherwise, was significant in that it moved him one step closer to a light heavyweight undisputed fight with Artur Beterbiev.
Beterbiev has plans to face Anthony Yarde in January and then may have a mandatory challenger in Callum Smith, but a request to the governing bodies may allow him to face his countryman for all the belts before that.