Tagged in: boxer

WBA orders Dmitry Bivol to defend 175-pound belt against Gilberto Ramirez

Dmitry Bivol will have a tough test on his hands if he wants to stay a champion.

Bivol must face top contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez in a mandatory defense, the World Boxing Association revealed Wednesday. Ramirez is the No. 1 contender in the WBA’s 175-pound ranking.

Bivol had requested to face London’s Joshua Buatsi, per the WBA.

“After an extensive study of the same, the WBA denied such permission,” the sanctioning body said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) is coming off a landmark win against Canelo Alvarez, ESPN’s top pound-for-pound fighter at the time. The Russian boxer won in a unanimous decision — 115-113 on all three scorecards — to successfully defend the belt for the eighth time.

Ramirez (44-0, 31 KOs) told ESPN he was surprised Bivol made the request to the WBA but was pleased with Wednesday’s ruling.

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“I felt that they were scared to fight me,” Ramirez said. “That’s why I’m so happy to fight him. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. Now it’s my time.”

The 31-year-old Mexican fighter is looking to become a two-division champion.

In 2016, he made history by becoming the first Mexican to win a super middleweight title when he outpointed Arthur Abraham. It set the table for Alvarez, who ran through the 168-pound division to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion in the four-belt era.

The ruling also suggests that if the two sides cannot come to terms by the end of Wednesday, a purse bid will be held for the fight’s rights. Matchroom Boxing promotes Bivol, and Golden Boy Promotions handles Ramirez.

If Bivol doesn’t want to face Ramirez, he could vacate the WBA belt, since Badou Jack relinquished the title in 2017. However, Ramirez said he doesn’t think Bivol will go that route.

Ramirez said he feels he presents the most lucrative option for Bivol and believes there is an appetite to see if a Mexican fighter can dethrone Bivol, something Alvarez couldn’t do in his ambitious attempt in May.

“It will be really surprising if he vacated the title,” Ramirez told ESPN. “Who else is he going to fight?” The matchup could be one of boxing’s most competitive title fights of the year.

Bivol is No. 2 in ESPN’s divisional rankings, trailing only Artur Beterbiev. Ramirez is slotted third following his win versus Dominic Boesel in May.

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Devin Haney-George Kambosos rematch being planned for mid-October on ESPN

The Devin Haney-George Kambosos rematch for the undisputed lightweight championship is being planned for Oct. 16 in Australia, sources tell ESPN, which will accommodate an ESPN prime-time telecast on Oct. 15.

The fight could land at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, home of the Australian Open, but no site has been finalized yet. When Haney signed to fight Kambosos in March, the 23-year-old agreed to a return bout in the champion’s native Australia later this year.

Haney routed Kambosos via unanimous decision in June to capture all four 135-pound titles, and Kambosos quickly exercised the rematch clause.

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With the rematch deal already agreed to beforehand, there were no negotiations necessary the second time around.

The only loose ends that needed to be tied up were the date and the site.

Despite the lopsided nature of the first meeting, Kambosos (20-1, 10 KOs) is set to receive a second crack at the titles he collected from Teofimo Lopez in November in ESPN’s Upset of the Year.

The 29-year-old was unable to deal with Haney’s excellent jab and defense and grew frustrated as the fight wore on. And this was a far cry from Kambosos’ thrilling win over Lopez, which featured both men on the canvas.

Haney (28-0, 15 KOs). elected to box from the outside and pile up rounds. Neither boxer was ever in any danger during the tactical bout at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Kambosos is rated No. 4 at lightweight by ESPN. Haney, who fights out of Las Vegas, is rated No. 1.

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. misses weight by 2 pounds, forfeits $100K to Anderson Silva

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has missed weight once again.

The son of the legendary Mexican boxer weighed in at 184 pounds Friday, two pounds over the contracted weight for his arranged fight with UFC all-time great Anderson Silva, promotion officials confirmed with ESPN.

The fight will go on Saturday in Guadalajara, Mexico, as part of an event called Tribute to the Kings. But Chavez Jr. will have to forfeit $100,000 of his purse to Silva, per officials. Silva weighed in right on the contracted mark of 182 pounds.

Chavez Jr. has had several struggles on the scales in his career. Most famously, he had to forfeit $1 million — a third of his purse — to Daniel Jacobs before a December 2019 bout.

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Chavez Jr. has missed weight at least twice more in his career, with other additional fights having to be changed late to catchweights.

This 182-pound bout is heavier than Chavez Jr. typically fights at. Most recently, Chavez Jr. has been competing at 175 pounds. And he fought Jacobs and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the contracted weight of 168 pounds.

Tribute to the Kings also will feature Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., 58, returning to the ring in an exhibition to face Hector Camacho Jr., the 42-year-old son of his fiercest rival.

Chavez Jr. (52-5-1, 1 NC) has dropped three of his past five fights, but is coming off a fourth-round TKO over Jeyson Minda last November. The 35-year-old Mexico native is the former WBC middleweight champion.

Silva is 1-1 as a pro boxer and has not fought in the boxing ring since 2005. But “The Spider” is one of the most decorated champions in UFC history, holding the middleweight title for seven years — the longest reign ever in the UFC. Silva, 46, also has the longest winning streak in UFC history (16).

The Brazil native asked for his release from the UFC last year and it was granted. Silva has just one victory in MMA since 2012 and has stated he is likely done with mixed martial arts, though he might continue to pursue interesting fights in other combat sports like boxing.

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