By Sam Volz: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he’d like to see WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol defend against his mandatory Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez next if Canelo Alvarez decides against exercising his rematch clause to force a second fight.
Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) is coming off a fourth-round knockout win over Dominic Boesel last Saturday night in a WBA 175-lb title eliminator on DAZN in Ontario, California.
A fight between Ramirez and Bivol would be an interesting one for as long as it lasts.
As far as Bivol’s desire to take on the winner of the June 18th unification between 175-lb champions Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr, Arum says he’s “not interested” in that fight.
Arum points out that Bivol fights on DAZN and his fighters Beterbiev & Smith are with ESPN. As such, Arum doesn’t want them to fight on the DAZN platform.
Unless Arum changes his mind, that pretty much rules out Bivol’s dream of fighting for the undisputed light heavyweight championship against the winner of next month’s Beterbiev vs. Smith fight.
Bivol already easily beat Joe Smith Jr. in 2019 in a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision, and it’s likely he would do the same if they were to fight now.
For Arum, it’s probably a good idea that the Beterbiev-Smith winner does not fight Bivol because it would be a bad style match-up for them.
Beterbiev has great power, but it’s unclear whether his foot speed would enable him to cut off the ring on Bivol to force him to brawl.
Bivol is highly mobile, defensively sound, has a solid chin, and possesses fast hands. The combination punching that Bivol does would be a nightmare for Beterbiev or Smith.
“We do so many fights, and you can’t get excited about all of them, but this fight between Beterbiev and Joe Smith, I’m really pumped for,” said Bob Arum to Fighthype.
“This is going to be a truly great, great fight with two hard-punching light heavyweights,” Arum continued about the unification fight between Beterbiev and Smith.
“Bivol is a good fighter, and it was a good performance, but Bivol fights on the DAZN platform,” said Arum when asked if he’d seen Canelo Alvarez’s loss to Dmitry Bivol on May 7th.
“We’re Not interested in having our fighters fight on DAZN, and our fighters pretty much don’t want to fight on DAZN. They want to fight on ESPN where they get the biggest audience,” said Arum.
“So my suggestion to Bivol is if the Canelo rematch isn’t available, he should fight Gilberto Ramirez, who is promoted by Golden Boy, and Golden Boy and Eddie Hearn both do their fights on DAZN. So it shouldn’t be a hard fight to make,” said Arum about the Bivol vs. Zurdo Ramirez fight.