By Mark Eisner: Dmitry Bivol will defend his WBA light heavyweight division against Gilberto Ramirez tonight at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. DAZN will broadcast the card in the United States, starting at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 A.M. PT.
The unbeaten Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) is coming off a career-best win over Canelo Alvarez. He has a tough fight ahead of him tonight against former WBO super middleweight champion Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) in their 12-round clash.
Boxing News 24 will give live updates and results below of the action for the Dmitry Bivol vs. Zurdo Ramirez card.
In the fight of the night thus far, undefeated knockout artist Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (17-0-1, 14 KOs) rallied to defeat Zelfa Barrett (28-2, 16 KOs) by a thrilling ninth round knockout victory to capture the vacant IBF. Rakhimov hurt Barrett with a right hand to the head in the ninth round, which caused his legs to turn to jelly. Rakhimov then knocked the badly hurt Barrett twice to get the stoppage. Barrett’s legs were gone after getting nailed by a thudding right hand from Rakhimov, and from that point on, he was defenseless. The cornerman for Barrett tried to have the fight stopped after the first knockdown, but the referee failed to see the towel, allowing Rakhimov to finish the job with a second and final knockdown. The time of the stoppage was at 2:35 of round nine. Earlier in the fight, Barrett dropped Rakhmov in the third round and got the better of him with his sharp shots. Rakhimov wasn’t going to be stopped, as he continued to pressure Barrett, nailing him with hard punches in rounds four through eight. By the seventh, Barrett looked exhausted and worn down from the heavy punches that he’d taken from Rakhimov.
WBC International flyweight champion Galal Yafai (3-0, 2 KOs) beat Gohan Rodriguez (12-2-1, 1 KO) by a 10 round split decision. In a fight that Yafai was expected to win easily, he was getting repeatedly nailed by counter shots from Rodriguez throughout the contest. Yafai made himself an easy target for Rodriguez’s shots by standing directly in front of him and trying to battle at close range. The judges scored it 96-94, 96-95 for Yafai, and 96-95 for Rodriguez. It’s fair to say that Rodriguez exposed Galal tonight, showing the boxing world that he’s not ready to take on upper-level contenders and definitely not any of the world champions at 112.
Light welterweight John Lawrence Ordonio (8-4-1, 4 KOs) defeated the highly touted blue-chip prospect Majid Al Naqbi (7-1, 4 KOs) by a four round unanimous decision. The judges scored it 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37. Ordonio simply outworked Naqbi, who started slow and couldn’t rally to get the win.
Ring-rusty former WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (27-1, 15 KOs) had to battle hard to defeat Jerald Paclar (16-6-3, 9 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. Yafai was surprisingly knocked down by Paclar in the first and hurt numerous times in the fight by the little-known fighter. The judges scored it 96-93, 96-93, and 95-94. If not for Yafai’s advantage in boxing skills, he lost this fight. Before tonight, Yafai hadn’t fought since losing to Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez by a ninth round knockout in February 2020. If Yafai is going to make anything happen with his comeback at bantamweight, he’s going to need to focus on his defense because he doesn’t have the chin to be taking the kind of shots that he was tonight.
Undefeated lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (9-0, 3 KOs) destroyed an over-matched Denis Bartos (9-6, 6 KOs), stopping him in the first round with a hard body shot that put him down on the canvas. Hatton dropped Bartos twice with body shots before the contest was halted at 1:44
“We have a terrific light heavyweight showdown in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Dmitry Bivol coming off his career-defining win over Canelo Alvarez. Zurdo Ramirez, who has been begging for a 175-lb title. They will meet up, and you can make some real money betting on Zurdo Ramirez,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN’s JABS about tonight’s fight between WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol against mandatory challenger Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
“It’s going to be a great fight between two undefeated champions, but Bivol has the momentum going on his side,” said Sergio Mora. “It’s going to be a fight that it’s going to come down to footwork. I know people don’t like to hear that, and Bivol has excellent footwork.
“That’s where I think Ramirez is going to fall short. He [Bivol] knows how to be the ring general, move around the ring, and use his jab. Of course, he has the power.
“Ramirez has to get on the inside and dig down to the body and get those vicious uppercuts in there, but if Bivol knows how to stay off the ropes and stay in the middle of the ring, it’s going to be very difficult for Ramirez to pin down and a fighter like Bivol.
“I’m going to say Bivol by a close decision, a very close decision. He’s going to have to fight off the tough Mexican, but I think he pulls it off in the end,” said Mora.
“I had my questions about Dmitry Bivol before the Canelo fight. I don’t have any questions about him now,” said Mannix. “He is an elite pound-for-pound talent, and I think he’s going to be and should be a big favorite in this fight.
“Now Zurdo Ramirez is going to have a size advantage. We know that Zurdo makes the 175 pounds and then rehydrates in the 200 lb range by the time the first bell rings. So he’s going to be able to use that to his advantage, but Bivol is used to fighting guys like that.
“Canelo wasn’t like that. Canelo was a smaller fighter, but I flashed back to another fight that we called on DAZN. That was Bivol vs. Joe Smith.
“Joe was the bigger, more physical fighter, and Bivol just boxed circles around him. He was able to use his jab, keep Smith on the outside and win a lopsided decision,” said Mannix.