It was almost a year ago that Dmitry Bivol defeated Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez in defense of his WBA light heavyweight title in Abu Dhabi. It wrapped up a 2022 campaign that also saw him master Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
For his efforts he was the consensus 'fighter of the year'.
Unfortunately, he has not fought since downing Ramirez nearly 365 days ago (that bout took place on November 5, 2022).
As of now, he has no in ring assignment lined up for this year. There had been talk of him facing somebody in December in a tune-up bout of some sort. But the reality is that as the calendar turns to November, nothing has been announced.
There is a good chance that he might be dormant for 2023.
Yeah, you could say is he is 2023 'non-fighter of the year'.
It's really mystifying that coming off a win over 'Canelo', and a solid win over Ramirez, that Bivol and his handlers couldn't capitalize on this momentum. Yeah, they wanted a rematch with Alvarez -- even going as far as to offer a fight at 168 where he is the undisputed champion -- but it seems as though this obsession has cost them.
Here's the unfortunate reality, Alvarez, whether he win or loses against anybody, is never in a position where he has to rematch anyone. He is a business onto himself. Meaning that he really didn't need to face Bivol again.
And yes, you can point out that Gennadiy Golovkin got a second and third bout after getting the short end of the stick of a dubious draw in their initial encounter in 2017. But that fight did huge business at both the box-office and pay-per-view.
Say it with me again, slowly: boxing....is....a....business. Yeah, life isn't fair, and the business of boxing is even more unfair.
Alvarez has just moved along with his career and faced John Ryder, and then Jermell Charlo. Meanwhile, Dmitry's career has gone to 'bolivian for the time being.
It's a shame because he truly is one of the most skilled and stylish boxers in the world. But unfortunately he's never really been given a promotional push, and had the opportunity to build much of a fan-base. But you wonder why Bivol hasn't at least fought one this year to keep his tools sharp?
Was the plan just to plead for a rematch with Canelo that was never coming their way?
Now, it has to be stated that Bivol has been hampered by edicts that have punished him for his Russian background for that countries conflict with Ukraine. (Shame on you Mauricio Sulaiman/WBC for that empty virtue signaling.)
So what is ahead of Bivol in 2024?
Well, there is still that potential showdown with unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, with whom he had a face-off with last week in Saudi Arabia. When asked about this bout, Beterbiev (who's not exactly known for his one-liners) cracked that ''(Bivol) never fights."
The problem with this fantastic match-up is that for as highly touted as both boxers are, it's not necessarily a fight that will do big numbers comercially in the States. Which is perhaps why both were in the Middle East, which figures to be a bigger player in the world of prizefighting in the years to come.
But this year is a wash(out) for Bivol. It looks like he will have to wait till 2024 to fight Beterbiev, or anybody else for that matter. 2023 was a year of his physical prime that has been squandered for the 32 year old Bivol.
This weeks edition of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez and I, has in-studio guest, Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions. Also we talk about Fury-Ngannou at length. Click on the Linktree to listen and subscribe on your preferred podcast platform:
Jermall Charlo will make his return on the David Benavidez-Demetrius Andrade pay-per-view undercard on November 25. He is paired with Jose Benavidez....Also, a solid match-up between Hector Luis Garcia and Lamont Roach has been added to that card at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas...Top Rank has announced that Robeisy Ramirez will defend his WBO featherweight belt on December 9 against Rafael Espinoza. Xander Zayas is on this show that is taking place in Pembroke Pines, Florida...Jason Moloney will defend his WBO bantamweight title against Saul Sanchez on January 13 in Quebec City on the Beterbiev-Callum Smith card....I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....