Joshua Buatsi looks to have been forced into another fight before getting his long-awaited shot at a world title.
The British light-heavyweight had been in discussions to face Dmitry Bivol for the WBA crown in the 175-pound division.
But the WBA has pushed back on a request from Buatsi’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, for the fight to happen next.
The sanctioning body has instead ordered Russian Bivol, who is on the back of a seismic shock defeat of Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas back in May, to face his mandatory challenger and Alvarez’s fellow Mexican Gilberto Ramirez.
“The WBA Championships Committee ratified the mandatory fight between light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and his mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez.
“After receiving a request for special permission to fight Joshua Buatsi from the champion and after an extensive study of the same, the WBA denied such permission.”
The WBA Championships Committee ratified the mandatory fight between light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and his mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) August 10, 2022
Ramirez, nicknamed ‘Zurdo’, is a former WBO world champion at super-middleweight who moved up to light-heavyweight and has finally worked his way into the upper echelons of the division.
The 31-year-old has a record of 44-0 with 30 quick finishes and was last in action against Dominic Boesel at the Toyota Arena in Ontario in May.
For Buatsi, the decision by the WBA means that he will now be set to participate in the agreed IBF final eliminator clash against Jean Pascal.
Jalol Akhmedov, who writes for Uzbek sports site Sports.uz, had revealed on Twitter that Matchroom, which promotes Buatsi, is in discussions with World of Boxing – the primary promoters of Bivol – regarding hosting a show in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in November.
Israil Madrimov, the 27-year-old California-based former WBA Inter-Continental super-welterweight champion who took part in a technical draw against Michel Soro at the O2 Arena in London back in July, is set to box on the bill, with details to be revealed in due course as to whether the fights between Bivol and Ramirez and, potentially, the IBF final eliminator between Buatsi and Pascal, for a shot at Artur Beterbiev’s title, will land on the same card.