Abu Dhabi - In a mandatory fight for the WBA light heavyweight title, Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) retained his championship with a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs). (photos by Mark Robinson)
The scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111.
Bivol was coming off a big shocker, as he outboxed Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez over twelve rounds for a dominant decision back in May.
The first round was close, with more of a technical start. Bivol was not allowing himself to get backed up and was more than happy to stand in range with Ramirez. In the second, Ramirez had a better round with several punches connecting to the head and body. Bivol rallied in the final moments with a combination. During the third, Bivol was boxing well in close quarters and was catching Ramirez when he would come in. Ramirez made it very close. During the fourth, Bivol rattled Ramirez with a few punches in the first minute. Bivol was catching Ramirez when they exchanged due to speed.
Ramirez was more active in the fifth, but not landing many of his punches and Bivol was connecting with the better punches. In the sixth, Bivol was outlanding Ramirez in a technical round of boxing. Bivol landed several hard punches during the seventh and controlled the action.
Ramirez did well in the eight, but Bivol stole the round when he backed Ramirez to the ropes and unloaded with a series of combinations. In the ninth, Bivol boxed well and blistered Ramirez with combinations to the head and body. Bivol seemed to take off a round in the tenth, with Ramirez doing most of the work and going to the body.
In the eleventh, Bivol was far more active and was landing accurate punches to the head when Ramirez would get close. During the twelfth and final round, Bivol was outboxing Ramirez, who was doing his best to come forward to turn the tide. Ramirez appeared to get rocked at one point from a series of punches as Bivol was lighting him up with combinations.
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