Following on from his suprise win over Canelo in May, Dmitry Bivol seeks to cement his place as one of the top fighters in boxing today by beating dangerous challenger Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) had till that point amassed a professional resume that was impressive, but not outstanding, before launching himself into the stratosphere with that victory. Zurdo (44-0-0, 30 KOs) is currently in pretty much the position Bivol was then, and the dangerous, hard-punching challenger will be looking to grab the chance to prove himself with everything he’s got. Bivol is going to be favoured, but expect a tough test.
This page will provide live play-by-play of the main event. The card starts at 1:30 p.m. ET and can be streamed on DAZN, with the main event expected shortly after 5 p.m, but stay tuned here for updates on that time.
Round by Round
Round 1: Both men open by trying to hold the center of the ring, but without throwing match. Peppering each other with jabs. Ref already talking to them about stepping on each other’s feet in this southpaw (Ramirez) vs orthodox (Bivol) matchup. The worry was Bivol would respond to Zurdo’s size by playing keep-away, but he’s not so far. Starts to get a few right hands in as the round goes no, but he takes a couple solid ones back. They spring to life and exchange in the last few seconds, Bivol winning that. 10-9 Bivol
Round 2: Zurdo trying to use his height and length to punch over Bivol’s jab. It works once but Bivol’s too sharp to let that be a route consistently. The 1-2 with the 2 to the body is working for him though, and he follows up by catching him solidly upstairs. Bivol responds with a quick combo that snaps Zurdo’s head back. Bivol pushing forward now, he evidently wants to take Zurdo’s length away. Again they end the round exchanging, and the difference in these moments is definitely that Bivol’s defence is the better. 10-9 Bivol, 20-18
Round 3: Zurdo working that 1-2 again, but Bivol’s already got him leaning too far to get it home and counters. This isn’t a schooling just yet, but we’re starting to see a level difference. Zurdo pushes forward and does catch him, but once again he’s leaning too far and gets countered. Zurdo’s landing single shots, then catches Bivol with a solid bodyshot. Still, 10-9 Bivol, 30-27
Round 4: Zurdo trying a bit move volume now, but it mostly catches the guard, then Bivol responds in volume. Zurdo does catch him with a decent bodyshot on the exit though. Getting his head too far over his lead foot is really becoming a problem for him now though, he’s getting punished almost every time. Catches Bivol with a nice lead hook, but again it’s single shots at a time. The round ends quietly, with them poking at each other with jabs. 10-9 Bivol, 40-36
Round 5: The scores might make it seem like Zurdo isn’t doing anything. He is, but there’s a class difference in the defence on show. They open exchanging and ocne again, Zurdo lands one or two and takes three or four in exchange. He’s clearly decided he needs to impose himself though, and starts pushing forward more than he has till now. Backs off after a bit, struggling to deal with the footwork off Bivol. When he pushes again, Bivol responds and rocks him back. He’s hesitant to try that again, and Bivol ends the round pushing forward and landing short combinations upstairs. This is beginning to look a bit of a masterclass. 10-9 Bivol, 50-45
Round 6: Bivol’s jabbing his way in. Zurdo trying a bit of circular movement now. Not his wheelhouse, but credit for not just accepting defeat. Does get a right hand home as he presses with a three-punch combo, but can’t follow up. Bivol’s right hand is coming round Zurdo’s guard without muhc issue. Zurdo ries to throw a combo but at this point that’s more dangerous for him than Bivol. Once again they end with an exchange, which Bivol finishes with a short right. 10-9 Bivol, 60-54
Round 7: Bivol opens the round jabbing Zurdo back to the ropes. Zurdo responds with a jab to the body, which to be fair has been his route of most sucess. But it’s also dangerous because he’s stretching to get there… and eats some counters. Zurdo tries to push forward again, but once again he leavs his feet behind and the counter right snaps his head back. He’s got a real problem because he has to throw in volume, but volume is getting him hurt. He gets a right in under Bivol’s elbow to end the round, but still 10-9 Bivol, 70-63
Round 8: Credit where it’s due, Zurdo has no intention of going quietly, but he immediately gets pushed back and takes a few shots on the ropes. They move back to the middle and share a few even exchanges. Zurdo working that 1-2 trying to find the body, but he hasn’t got the range down. Bivol responds by pushing forward again and throwing heavy in the corner. The ref breaks them, Zurdo tries to impose himself again with a push forward to end the round. 10-9 Bivol, 80-72
Round 9: Zurdo’s corner telling him between rounds that Bivol doesn’t want to be inside and Zurdo’s got him where he wants him. They’re lying. Anyway, the pre-fight worries that Bivol would just jab and move to victory were totally unfounded, he’s making this a pressure fight. Zurdo’s not getting any time to set himself. It’s just perfect timing: when Zurdo does feel comfortable, he disappears and draws him on, and the rest of the time he’s in his face or turning him. Zurdo does push him to the ropes in the middle of the round, but not too much lands and then he pushes him back with a couple to the body. Drops to the ropes again, then comes off them with extended combinations upstairs. Zurdo responds by pushing back, but… Bivol’s gone. 10-9 Bivol, 90-81
Round 10: Quieter opening to round 10. Both taking a bit of a rest. Zurdo trying an uppercut for a change, but then he dips low trying to find the body and Bivol drives him back. Zurdo’s found a route temporarily though, the right hand is landing behind the elbow with decent regularity this round. Bivol hasn’t thrown a lot this round, Zurdo lands a solid left to the body. Bivol finishes strong but Zurdo 10-9, 99-91
Round 11: I’m gushing about Bivol, but it’s got to be said: Zurdo’s kept his head admirably here. Always looking for another route, and it’s getting him punished- a good lead uppercut is countered by another combination upstairs and then an uppercut of Bivol’s own – but every time one thing stops working he tries something else. Bivol’s decided to stamp his mark on this round after a slower last one, Zurdo with the pressure but getting tagged clean. The same old problem- he’s eating multiple shots for every one he lands. 10-9 Bivol, 109-100
Round 12: Bivol doesn’t need to take any risks, but then he rarely does. The trick Zurdo tried earlier of jabbing over the jab is being returned in kind now, and then a quick right gets home too. Zurdo presses, gets off balance, eats two upstairs. Pushes forward with 1-2s again, overbalances, gets rocked back. Bivol does decide maybe he wants the finish for a second, but Bivol won’t give that without going down swinging, so he steps off. Zurdo pushes him to the ropes, Bivol holds briefly. They end exchanging once again. Terrific performance. 10-9 Bivol, 119-109, a score which doesn’t do justice to Zurdo’s effort but there was a clear difference in class.
BE scores the fight 119-109 to Bivol
Official scores: 118-110, 117-111, 117-111
WBA light-heavyweight title: Dmitry Bivol UD Gilberto Ramirez: 118-110, 117-111, 117-111
WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF women’s super lightweight titles: Chantelle Cameron UD Jessica McCaskill: 97-93, 96-94, 96-94
IBF Super-featherweight title: Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov TKO9 Zelfa Barrett
Flyweight: Galal Yafai SD Gohan Rodriguez Garcia 96-94, 96-95, 95-96
Super lightweight: John Lawrence Ordonio UD4 Majid Al Naqbi 40-36, 40-46, 39-37
Bantamweight: Khalid Yafai UD10 Jerald Paclar: 96-93, 96-93, 95-94
Super flyweight: Sultan Al Nuaimi vs. Jerome Baloro
Super featherweight: Aqib Fiaz vs. Diego Valiterra
Lightweight: Campbell Hatton vs. Denis Bartos
Lightweight: Fahad Al Bloushi vs. Giorgi Gotchoshvili