Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, tells Steve Kim that his charge “could be placed on a UK card in April” before facing former WBO super middleweight champ Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez in summer.
The hypothetical April fight would be Bivol’s (17-0, 11 KO) first fight since running over Lenin Castillo in October of 2019. The Kyrgyzstan-born, Russia-based 30-year-old crushed Trent Broadhurst for the belt in 2017 and has defended it five times, notably stopping Sullivan Barrera and dominating both Joe Smith Jr. and Jean Pascal.
Ramirez’s (41-0, 27 KO) path has been far stranger. He had a lengthy if softly matched run as a 168-pound titlist, looked dominant in his light heavyweight debut against Tommy Karpency, then sacrificed a spot atop the WBO rankings to sit out his Top Rank contract. He ended a 20-month layoff last December by stopping Alfonso Lopez in a squash match.
“Zurdo” had been linked to an interim WBC title fight with Marcus Browne, so he’s presumably got other options, but this could wind up a welcome step up in class for both men.