WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol On 'Zurdo', 'Canelo' and 'Sugar Ray'

Bivol discusses Saturday's big fight and says an Alvarez rematch might not be his next move
10:19, 02 Nov 2022

WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol defends his title against Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez this Saturday. The unbeaten 175-pounders will face off at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi in one of the most anticipated fights on the calendar. The bout will be Bivol’s first since he shocked the boxing world by defeating Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May.

The Sportsman sat down for an exclusive chat with Bivol ahead of this blockbuster collision. The champion opened up about ‘Zurdo’, ‘Canelo’ and a dream match-up with a certain ‘Sugar Ray’.


Ramirez has made some very confident comments ahead of this fight. Do you feel like he may almost be overlooking you?

I don't know. Doesn't matter for me. I don't want to be inside his head. I want to be in my head and think about my mentality and about my preparation.

Where would you rank Ramirez in terms of the best fighters you’ve come up against?

In my career, he's one of the best opponents. Because I haven’t had too many opponents who had zero (losses). There was only (Felix) Valera, he had 13 fights and zero losses. Now I have an opponent with 44 fights and zero losses. He's one of the best. He was the champion at super middleweight. Now he's a light heavyweight, he’s one of the best. It makes me more focused on this fight.

After this fight, a lot of people are talking about wanting to see you back in the ring with Canelo. Is that the fight that you'll be targeting after Ramirez?

I talked about this today, many times (laughs). No, it's not my target after Ramirez. I want to fight for another title.


As you’ve touched upon, you do get asked about him a lot. But could you tell us what your life has been like since your huge win over Canelo?

More people will recognise me and not just recognise but respect me. Some people are happy that they won money on my fight. Some people just hate that I beat Canelo. 

I got this fight because I won my last fight. Because I won against Canelo I got this fight too. But nothing has changed too much. Because I'm not someone who would change too much because something happened.

Another fight that a lot of people are excited about for you one day is Artur Beterbiev. He holds all the other light heavyweight belts. How badly do you want to fight Beterbiev?

I’ve wanted to fight for another belt since I became the champion. Every time I want to fight for another belt more and more. I really want it, much more than a rematch with Canelo.

If you could fight one fighter, past or present, who would you choose?

I would like to fight against my favourite fighter, that is Sugar Ray Leonard. I would like to try my skills against his skills. I just wanna feel it, you know? How fast he is? His combinations on my head, on my arm. I would like to fight him. It’s just a dream, I don't want to fight him now (laughs). 

When he was young, when he was in the best shape. It's not that I would like to win, it's that I want to feel it. You know? It's like sometimes the guys ask me, “Oh, I want to spar with you. I want to feel how it is to be in the ring against the champion.” It's an honour to fight him.

bivol vs ramirez fight odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

Opening image - Mark Robinson Photography/Matchroom

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