Dmitry Bivol defeats Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez by unanimous decision
Dmitry Bivol produced a boxing clinic to defend his WBA light-heavyweight title against a game but over-matched Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez.
Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) was back in the ring for his first outing since defeating pound-for-pound king Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and faced a very different problem in the form of hulking Mexican southpaw Ramirez, who carried a 44-0 record into the ring.
The fighters clashed in centre-ring after a fiery exchange at the end of round one, but any suggestions of a barnburner proved to be misplaced as Bivol immaculately went through his repertoire to win a unanimous decision by margins of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice).
Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) proved to have a solid chin but suffered a frustrating night at the mercy of the champion's masterful punch-picking and distance control, with his signature body attacks only sporadically successful.
Zurdo's torment was one of inches, from the punches that glided past Bivol's nose as he slipped out of range, to the precise left hooks and right hands to chin and temple that sapped his ample reserves.
A money-spinning Canelo rematch or a showdown with Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed light-heavyweight championship are two possibilities for next year after Bivol concluded his strong claims to be named the best male fighter of 2022.
Britain's Chantelle Cameron claimed her own piece of undisputed glory in the co-main event as her super-lightweight showdown with Jessica McCaskill showcased a similar gulf in skills.
McCaskill (12-3, 5 KOs), herself undisputed at welterweight, rallied over the closing rounds as Cameron was compromised by a nasty cut on the bridge of her nose, but cards of 97-93 and 96-94 (twice) to move the champion to 17-0 and the pinnacle of her sport were richly deserved.
The fight of the night came as Shavkat Rakhimov and Zelfa Barrett produced an instant classic for the vacant IBF super-featherweight title. Rakhimov (17-0-1) was decked and hurt in round three as Barrett (28-2, 16 KOs) made a fast and intelligent start.
But the Freddie Roach protege relentlessly surged forward in search of glory and eventually broke Barrett's will, flooring his foe before the towel came in during round nine, with the Manchester fighter appearing to have suffered a leg injury in the onslaught. Former champion Joe Cordina is up next in a mouth-watering first defence for Rakhimov.