LAS VEGAS – World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) is ghosting undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs), the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Middleweight World title holder.
Maybe Bivol has been too busy to talk because he’s preparing to trick-or-treat this Halloween weekend as a ghost?
Nobody’s quite sure, because after repeatedly expressing his desire to take on “Zurdo” in a mega-fight, the Kyrgyzstan native has gone dark for the past few months.
“I know my team and Golden Boy have been working hard to make this happen,” Ramirez said. “Now that the contract is out, I don’t know why he’s stalling and backtracking from the fight. He called me out publicly on social media after my last fight but he’s now silent. A lot of fighters talk the talk but rarely walk the walk. I hope he’s not one of them.”
When the pandemic first started, Bivol and Ramirez openly spoke about fighting each other. “Gilberto Ramirez is one of the top players in the light heavyweight division,” Bivol said at that time. “We have talked about this fight for a long time. The time has come to bring this to a reality. We have trained together and some sparring as well. He is a professional and a gentleman. A very good fighter.
“He is an ex-world champion, he has proven to become one of the best, fights like this excite the fans. This is what boxing is all about, fighters where either boxer has a 50-percent chance of being victorious. We are both at the level that we can make a dynamic fight.”
Before Ramirez’ last fight, an impressive knockout victory over Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs), Bivol wished “Zurdo” good luck on social media in hopes that they could fight later this year.
Not only isn’t that a reality at this stage, Bivol has completely disappeared, like a ghost. His puppet master, Matchroom Boxing’s powerful Eddie Hearn, who controls boxing on DAZN, has since done all the talking for Bivol as if he’s a ventriloquist. The latest news about Bivol, at least through Hearn, is that he will likely defend his title against super middleweight John Ryder (29-5, 16 KOs) in December, and then the carrot was extended by Hearn for a dream fight in May against boxing’s rainmaker, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
No mention of Ramirez by Hearn other than to say, “Gilberto Ramirez is a good fight (for Bivol) as well.” It’s worth mentioning Hearn uttered Ramirez’ name only after Ryder, ‘Canelo,” and even Joshua Buatso and Callum Smith, as potential opponents for Bivol.
The 30-year-old Ramirez is currently rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 4 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), as well as No. 9 in The Ring magazine’s independent rankings.
Bivol has fought only once the past two years, winning an uninspiring 12-round decision against Craig Richards this past May.
Real fighters fight. They don’t let a Svengali figure such as Hearn pull their strings. Isn’t it time to man-up and fight the best available candidate?
Trick-or-treat, Dmitry! It’s time for the ghost to turn back into a fighter.
What are you waiting for?