Dmitry Bivol dominates overmatched Gilberto Ramirez to win wide decision

Dmitry Bivol completed a tremendous year in dominating fashion Saturday in the United Arab Emirates.

The light heavyweight titleholder, coming off his upset of Canelo Alvarez, dominated previously unbeaten and much bigger Gilberto Ramirez to win a one-sided decision at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

The official scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111. Boxing Junkie also scored it 117-111, nine rounds to three.

Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) got off to a strong start, fighting the gifted Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) on roughly even terms for four rounds. Then, when the more talented Russian found his groove, he toyed with Ramirez and pull away on the scorecards.

Ramirez wasn’t as aggressive as he was expected to be overall, which allowed the quicker Bivol to land sharp punches from a distance. And when the Mexican picked up his pace, he ran into some of the champion’s hardest shots.

A bigger problem was his inability to penetrate Bivol’s impeccable defense. Ramirez simply couldn’t land punches with consistency, which gave him no chance to win the fight.

He never gave up. He fought with great urgency late in the fight, when it was clear he needed a knockout to win. However, even then, the overmatched challenger never came close to turning the tide for the reasons stated above.

Thus, Bivol retained his WBA belt by such a wide margin and put himself in the Fighter of the Year conversation for 2022.

“I proved myself,” he said of his 2022. “I can beat the best guy in the world. I was happy. And now I [beat] another guy who doesn’t know what ‘lose’ is. It means a lot for me.

Next year could also be big.

Bivol reiterated after the fight that he would like to face three-belt titleholder and countryman Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed championship next, although that might have to wait until Beterbiev defends against Anthony Yarde.

Bivol’s immediate consolation prize could be the most-lucrative fight of his career: a rematch with Alvarez, whom he defeated 115-113, 115-113 and 115-113 this past May to climb onto pound-for-pound lists.

“I’m like a kid who has a dream,” he said, referring to his desire to unify titles against Beterbiev. “I want to go to this dream. My mind, my brain understand how things are going. I prefer to fight for another belt. If I don’t have a chance in four, five months, of course I’ll take another fight.”

Could the second fight with Alvarez take place at 168, at which the Mexican is the undisputed champion?

Bivol chuckled when that possibility was mentioned and made it clear that he’s a 175-pounder, but, after a few moments though, he suggested that it’s not far fetched.

“For four belts? That’s an interesting fight. Why not?” he said.

Imagine Bivol taking Alvarez’s titles at 168 and then beating Beterbiev in his next fight to become undisputed at 175. That’s the stuff of legends.

And with Bivol, it seems realistic.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie