De La Hoya: Bivol is special, one of the best pound-for-pound

Oscar De La Hoya believes Dmitry Bivol is one of boxing's finest talents.

The Russian routed his Golden Boy charge, Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez, to win a unanimous decision in their WBA light heavyweight title bout in November in Abu Dhabi. Most ringside observers had Bivol winning all 12 rounds, including

"He's special," De La Hoya said of Bivol in a recent interview with FightHype. "It was a big moment [for Zurdo] on a big stage against a great fighter. [He] possibly froze in the fight, but Bivol [hats off] to him, he's got to be one of the best fighters out there, pound-for-pound."

The performance solidified 2022 Fighter of the Year honors for Bivol, who kicked off the year with a dominant win over Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez in May in a 175-pound title affair. Since being elevated to WBA's "Super" titlist in 2019, Bivol has made five defenses of the belt.

The 32-year-old Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), who is represented by World of Boxing and Eddie Hearn's Matchroom, is expected to return to the ring in the spring, but it won't be against Alvarez. The four-division champion has insisted that he will exercise his contractual option for an immediate rematch. However, the 32-year-old, who remains the undisputed super middleweight world champion, is expected to fight in a tune-up bout in the spring; thus, a chance of revenge against Bivol will have to wait until later in the year.

Bivol has repeatedly stated that he would much rather face the winner of the three-belt 175-pound title unification between champion Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde, slated for January 28 in London. If Canelo has his way, however, Bivol will have no choice but to face him again.

Share this story

must see