The Boxing world has said goodbye to 2022 with some fantastic battles to look back on. However, if we want to declare the best fighter for this year, it has to be Dmitry Bivol.
The Russian’s achievements were already so impactful that he could have easily pulled the plug on his career by April. However, he chose to carry on, and it proved to be the right decision.
After the first four months, Bivol had scored a masterful 12-round win over Canelo Alvarez. Before this memorable win, he had secured a dominant win over undefeated Gilberto Ramirez.
After watching a few Jackie Chan movies, the 32-year-old chose boxing as his passion. However, he wouldn’t have thought he would be as successful as he is today.
Bivol was in Las Vegas in May, where he gave Alvarez his first defeat in nearly a decade. After this memorable win, he traveled to the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, where he locked horns against Ramirez.
Bivol got the better of the Mexican in a lopsided decision win. Although these two wins didn’t earn the Russian any extra silverware, they resulted in title defenses, which brought Bivol’s record to 21-0.
Since he admitted, the start of Bivol’s calendar year was challenging. In the ring, the 32-year-old was struggling to get a significant fight. Sergey Kovalev and Artur Beterbiev were the two big names who ignored the chance to fight the Russian.
Bivol faced Craig Richards in the UK to stay competitive and defended his belt against Umar Salamov on a small card in Russia. For years, the Kyrgyzstan native was chasing a fight with Alvarez, but it never came into fruition.
Eventually, in 2022, Eddie Hearn presented him with two options. He could fight against Bivol, make history in the lightweight division, or battle Gennadiy Golovkin in a titanic tussle.
Alvarez accepted the fight with Bivol as fans expected a titanic clash between the two boxing superstars. Despite coming into the fight as the 4-1 underdog, the Russian racked up the points round by round. The three judges gave a 115-113 scoreline in favor of Bivol, suggesting it was a close fight.
In the fight against Ramirez, the 32-year-old was dominant. The Mexican could only land 12% of his punches successfully as Bivol blocked everything Ramirez threw at him.
We expect 2023 to draw more storylines as we may see a potential rematch between Alvarez and Bivol. The Russian has clarified that he wants to fight Canelo at super middleweight. However, we can expect to see many more competitors challenging the WBA lightweight champion.