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After comprehensively defeating Gilberto Ramirez on the weekend, the boxing world is alight with rumours that Dmitry Bivol could agree to a rematch against Canelo Alvarez next.
The Russian has now extended his record to 21-1-0, with his 13th consecutive defense of the WBA Light Heavyweight Title. Given Bivol’s impeccable career so far, the world is essentially his oyster in terms of who the 31-year-old can fight next. While rumours of a clash against Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua may be just that, is there any validity to the talk of Alvares vs. Bivol too being on the card?
We look at what has been said so far, and how Bivol is placed currently.
Bivol Cruises Past Ramirez to Remain Undefeated
Six months ago, Dmitry Bivol announced himself to the boxing world by comprehensively defeating Canelo Alvarez in a unanimous decision victory.
Prior to that fight, Canelo Alvarez held a record of 57-1-2 and was largely recognised as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport. In part, Bivol had an advantage because Alvarez was stepping up into a new, heavier weight class. The same was true for Gilberto Ramirez on Saturday night, who had built up a 44-0-0 record mainly at super middleweight across his career.
Again, Bivol secured a clear unanimous decision victory over his opponent, handing Ramirez the first defeat of his career. Ramirez had yet to fight a boxer of Bivol’s calibre, which was evident with the judges calling the fight 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 in favour of the Russian. With the win, Bivol secured his WBA Light Heavyweight Title yet again, scoring his 21st consecutive win and solidifying his case of Fighter of the Year.
Having not come close to defeat across 21 fights, the question is: Who’s next for the undefeated Bivol?
Eddie Hearn Pushing Alvarez vs. Bivol II
The thing about Canelo Alvarez, is he knows how to make a rematch happen. After all, he has just finished his third fight against Gennady Golovkin, finally gaining a decisive win.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Alvarez is one of the biggest names in boxing, and a fight against him means global attention. Or, that a match up against the Mexican always means a healthy box office purse. Regardless, if Alvarez wants a rematch, chances are he will get it. And with Alvarez suffering a heavy defeat the last time he fought at light heavyweight, it’s more than likely he’ll be searching for a rematch against Bivol.
In fact, boxing promotor Eddie Hearn has come out this week stating that he’s trying to make the fight happen this week. Hearn has stated that his preference is for Alvarez to stay at 168 pounds, and for Bivol to come down a weight class to fight for the Mexican’s super middleweight titles.
However, there’s a reasonable cloud of doubt over this plan.
What Weight Would a Rematch Take Place At?
It’s 50/50 whether Alvarez vs. Bivol II would take place at super middleweight, or light heavyweight.
On the one hand, Alvarez is a proud man, and will want to prove to himself and the boxing world that he’s capable of moving up the weight grades. He’s done it before, however given the way their previous fight went, it’s a tall ask for the rematch to occur at light heavyweight and end any differently.
On the other hand, Bivol may be willing to come down to super middleweight, considering the belts and purse on the line. It would be more of a risk, as this feels like Alvarez’s main path to winning, but Bivol has already stated that he’s open to the option.
Regardless of which weight grade, Hearn has said that any rematch would like be scheduled for 2023.