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Dmitry Bivol retains WBA light heavyweight title vs. Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez

dmitry-bivol-gilberto-ramirez-20221105-ftr (Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing)

Dmitry Bivol put on an impressive display against challenger Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez on Saturday in Abu Dhabi to retain the WBA light heavyweight title.

It took Bivol three rounds to feel out his larger opponent, with Ramirez appearing to win rounds two and three while the champion figured out an appropriate plan of attack. From the fourth round onward it was all Bivol, as the 31-year-old stayed on the front foot and forced Ramirez to defend.

The Mexican challenger, who entered the bout with an impressive 44-0 record, could not find a way to back Bivol into the ropes and go on the offensive, outside of limited spells. Instead, it was the champion who dictated the pace of the match and forced Ramirez to react, with Bivol picking out opportunities to land combinations that increased in frequency as the fight wore on.

The bout went the distance, with Ramirez admirably taking everything that Bivol dished out, but it was clear early on that it would take something special to unseat the champion — which did not happen as Bivol won by unanimous decision.

"Zurdo is bigger than me but it doesn't matter," Bivol said after the fight. "I proved myself that I can beat the best guy in the world [in Canelo Alvarez], I was happy. And now, I beat another guy who doesn't know what [losing] is. It means a lot for me. 

"I have a goal, I want to be undisputed champion."

DAZN provided live text commentary of the full fight card below.

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Unanimous decision for Bivol

The belt stays with Bivol. 

Round 12 ends

This one seems academic. Bivol was dominant from the fourth round onward.

Round 11 ends

This fight will go to Bivol is Ramirez doesn't do something big in the final round.

Round 10 ends

Ramirez shows some life in a quiet round for Bivol. The Mexican will need much more if he wants to win this one, though.

Round 9 ends

Another round for Bivol as he landed several hard left hands.

Round 8 ends

Those 2-3 punch combos from Bivol in the early rounds have turned into 4-5 punch combos as the champion is taking over this fight.

Round 7 ends

Bivol's not allowing Ramirez to back him into the ropes, instead being the one to do so more often against his larger opponent. The champion seems to have figured out the size advantage.

Round 6 ends

It feels like Bivol os taking over this match, although Ramirez still shows that he's dangerous.

Round 5 ends

Clear advantage to Bivol in that round, after the champ lands a good combination coming from from superb defence. Still waiting for Ramirez to target the body as expected.

Round 4 ends

Bivol's speed is coming into play here as the champion continues to back Ramirez up despite being the smaller of the two men. 

Round 3 ends

A very even round as Bivol has to contend with Ramirez's length advantage. The Mexican is doing well to keep Bivol at bay, while also landing some shots.

Round 2 ends

Ramirez asserted himself a bit more in that round, connecting with a few shots on the advancing Bivol. It seems as though Bivol will look to end every round with a flurry, though.

Round 1 ends

Both fighters were seemingly waiting for the other to make a mistake, and in the dying seconds of the round it appeared as though Ramirez did. Bivol managed to get a numnber of stiff punches off just before the bell rang.

Here we go!

Ramirez puts his 44-0 record on the line against the champion.

Ringwalks are on

Ramirez coming out with live music from a pair of Mexican artists. All three men are wearing cowboy hats.

Meanwhile, Bivol enters with a highlight reel of his past fights followed by piped-in rap music.

Here we go, it's main event time!

We're minutes away from Bivol vs. Ramirez.

Chanelle Cameron wins by unanimous decision

Cameron is the new undsiputed super lightweight champion of the world. McCaskill came on strong in the later rounds, but it wasn't enough to negate a superb performance by the champion in the opening 4-5 rounds.

Round 9 ends

McCaskill is starting to assert herself more, but the question is whether she'll run out of time. One more round to go.

Round 8 ends

A fairly even round between the women.

Round 7 ends

Cameron has a cut on the bridge of her nose, after McCaskill landed a couple of hard shots. Will that be enough to swing the momentum the other way?

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