Bivol vs ‘Zurdo’ is a fantastic clash of styles between two undefeated warriors
WBA ‘Super’ World light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KO) will become the first ever champion to defend a world title in Abu Dhabi when he meets fellow undefeated fighter Gilberto Ramirez (44-0, 30KO) at the Etihad Arena on November 5.
The Russian champion will defend his WBA belt for a ninth time, only really rising to prominence in his last defence against Canelo, where he dominated the pound for pound superstar to win via unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
His ninth challenger is known as ‘Zurdo do Oro’ which means ‘Golden Southpaw’ and the 31-year-old lived up to his title by becoming the first Mexican in history to win a world super-middleweight title.
Ramirez is a former long-reigning WBO World super-middleweight champion, successfully defending his belt five times between 2016-2018, before moving up to light-heavyweight.
The southpaw is a great mid-range combination puncher, who can slam in hooks with immense speed, variation and power. He is an excellent body puncher and has KO’d many opponents with big blows to the body. He is an exciting fighter to watch, which is why he’s a fan favourite.
Bivol is a long-range fighter, who likes to keep opponents on the end of his jab and straight punches. His footwork is perfect for his style, he likes to take little half steps in and out of range to not allow anyone to get in too close to constantly dictate the range to his suiting. He is a stand up tall fighter, so without a lot of upper body movement, he uses his quick feet as his defence mechanism… to great effect.
Boxing IQ in this fight definitely goes to Bivol, who is a highly intelligent boxer. His jab is his best weapon, he constantly jousts with it, pawing and waving it in his opponents’ face, which takes away their own jab, as he always places his glove above theirs. He uses the lead hand to distract them, find his range, impair their vision and judgement, push them back, and all that trickery enables to him to land his own jabs and follow-up shots, while they’re still figuring out how to get past it. One of his tricks is to paw with his jab, tapping the top of his opponent’s glove, then slips underneath with a jab to the body as quick as lightning.
Bivol also has a great straight right and right cross, which he uses his jabs to line up and deliver. He pops out his jab constantly and when he the opportunity presents, he follows up with big right hands.
Despite being a mid-range fighter, Ramirez doesn’t possess great head movement and his head will often be left on the centre-line for Bivol to target.
When under attack, Bivol often tucks up tight behind a high guard, which will allow Ramirez to unload his devastating body shots, but the WBA World Champion won’t stay there for long, he will pivot away after feeling the first of the incoming shots. However, this will certainly be Gilberto’s best chance of success – to get in close and land to the body.
With 64 wins, 41 knockouts and no losses between them, this is guaranteed to be an exciting clash to kick off the Fireworks Night celebrations in the Emirates.
The odds favour Bivol to win at 1/6 with Betway, while challenger Ramirez is 15/4, and the odds for a draw are 20/1.
PredictionsRamirez will want to fight at mid to close range, but Bivol won’t allow him to. He is one of the world’s best at controlling distance.
The Russian’s superior boxing IQ will dictate this contest and I can see Bivol utilising his amazing and difficult jab to secure the victory on points. They say the jab will take you around the world and I believe Bivol’s jab has done just that for him so far.
To summarise, this is a fight between a big-punching, mid-range fighter with a leaky defence and limited head movement against a stand-up tall, long-range fighter with an excellent jab and wizardry distance-control.
I’m picking Bivol’s style and skill to win this intriguing battle via unanimous decision.