Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Dmitry Bivol

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It might be time for the people just outside of boxing’s hard-core bubble to find out just how good unbeaten WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol really is. 

Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), a 31-year-old Russian who was born in Kyrgyzstan, first captured his world title back in 2017 and was a respected technician until a pair of opportunities in 2022 offered him a chance to raise his platform considerably. Two impressive victories later, including one on the pay-per-view level against the sport’s biggest star, Bivol is considered the frontrunner for Fighter of the Year honors. 

Yet for as impressive as Bivol was in out-pointing Canelo Alvarez, then the pound-for-pound king, in their May showdown, he was also the bigger man in that fight. But against unbeaten Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez in November, Bivol found himself on the opposite side of that equation yet fought as if he was the bigger knockout threat throughout. 

Bivol’s surprisingly wide decision over Ramirez, the former 168-pound titleholder who was his mandatory challenger, saw him as offensive as we have ever seen against an elite foe. While always responsible defensively, Bivol timed his flurries of stiff and accurate combinations perfectly and routinely hurt the bigger Ramirez. 

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The question was never whether Bivol was a great boxer; that part of the equation was automatic given his amateur pedigree. But the fact that he has now paired that with violent intention, especially when the moment demanded it like in his close win over Alvarez, he proved that an evolved version of himself places him within the conversation for the best boxer in the world.

The victory also opened the door for Bivol to face…

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