Looks like Dmitry Bivol may get his wish.
Late yesterday evening, the WBC announced that former WBO super middleweight champion and current top light heavyweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez has officially withdrawn from an ordered interim title fight against Marcus Browne. Mauricio Sulaiman and co. don’t seem particularly happy with this turn of events.
The WBC has just received a communication from Gilberto Ramirez management withdrawing from the WBC ordered fight against Marcus Browne for the interim Light Heavyweight title fight.
It is unfortunate as team Ramirez had asked for an extension to the free negotiations period only to back out at the last minute, consequently the purse bid scheduled for tomorrow has now been cancelled.
This isn’t the first time Ramirez (41-0, 27 KO) has willingly thrown away his spot in line; he famously declined to respond to the WBO when it ordered a final eliminator between him and Eleider Alvarez last year. I can definitely respect his commitment to burning bridges, though I’m not sure how well it’ll work out for him in the long run.
The WBC will presumably set #3 Browne (23-1, 16 KO) up against a substitute foe from their rankings, which presently look like this:
2. Jean Pascal
4. Badou Jack
5. Igor Mikhalkin
6. Jesse Hart
7. Blake Caparello
8. Joshua Buatsi
9. Sullivan Barrera
10. Mathieu Bauderlique
Browne has some history with Pascal, who beat him by technical decision in 2019 after an acrimonious build-up. Pascal also beat Jack his next time out, so my money’s on a Browne-Pascal rematch sometime this year.