WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez have seemingly been on a collision course this entire year, but nothing has yet come to fruition. Ramirez appears to be getting frustrated, as he and his team have sent out a very silly press release accusing Bivol of “ghosting” them under orders from “puppet master” Eddie Hearn.
“I know my team and Golden Boy have been working hard to make this happen,” Ramirez said. “Now that the contract is out, I don’t know why he’s stalling and backtracking from the fight. He called me out publicly on social media after my last fight but he’s now silent. A lot of fighters talk the talk but rarely walk the walk. I hope he’s not one of them.”
When the pandemic first started, Bivol and Ramirez openly spoke about fighting each other. “Gilberto Ramirez is one of the top players in the light heavyweight division,” Bivol said at that time. “We have talked about this fight for a long time. The time has come to bring this to a reality. We have trained together and some sparring as well. He is a professional and a gentleman. A very good fighter.
“He is an ex-world champion, he has proven to become one of the best, fights like this excite the fans. This is what boxing is all about, fighters where either boxer has a 50-percent chance of being victorious. We are both at the level that we can make a dynamic fight.”
Overwrought but seasonally appropriate wording aside, there’s a kernel of truth there. Hearn explicitly said before Bivol’s (18-0, 11 KO) competitive May victory over Craig Richards that he wanted the pair to fight afterwards, but now names John Ryder as Bivol’s probable next opponent before a 2022 clash with Joshua Buatsi.
This is despite Ryder being a career super middleweight who’s been ordered to fight David Morrell for the WBA “world” title.
I’m sure there are plenty of behind-the-scenes shenanigans we’re not privy to, and while Bivol vs. Ramirez (42-0, 28 KO) would be a fairly compelling matchup, it’s not the end of the world if they fail to lock horns. I am, however, eager to see whether Ramirez can pull the nonsense he did with Top Rank and still fail to get a major fight after jumping ship.