Dmitry Bivol will have to stick with the fight that’s been given to him.
The WBA announced on Wednesday that they rejected Bivol and promoter Eddie Hearn’s request to skip mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez in order to face Joshua Buatsi.
“The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee ratified the mandatory fight between light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and his mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez,” the WBA said in its announcement.
“After receiving a request for special permission to fight Joshua Buatsi from the champion and after an extensive study of the same, the WBA denied such permission, so Bivol and Ramirez will have until August 10 (as originally planned) to reach an agreement or the fight will go to purse bid.”
The order also suggests that if the two parties were not able to come to terms by the end of Wednesday, a purse bid will be held for rights to the bout. Bivol is promoted by Matchroom Boxing while Golden Boy Promotions backs Ramirez.
Oscar De La Hoya was pleased to see that the WBA pushed through with its order. He clapped back at Hearn when the promoter previously said they were going to petition the ordered bout.
“We find the ruling fair and honest considering Zurdo Ramirez has fought two elimination bouts and has been the number one contender for this fight since his victory against Sullivan Barrera in 2021,” De La Hoya said in a statement issued by Golden Boy.
“We will continue to work hard to support Ramirez as he campaigns to one day become a two-division world champion.”
Ramirez (44-0, 31 KOs) became the first Mexican to win a super middleweight title in 2016 over Arthur Abraham. Alvarez later followed his footsteps and eventually became the first undisputed super middleweight champion in the four-belt era.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) hushed Alvarez’s hype when he bested the former No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer by unanimous decision on May 7. He had signed for a contracted rematch, but Alvarez decided to pursue former rival Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy fight.
Bivol, on the other hand, wanted three-belt champion Artur Beterbiev, who recently bested Joe Smith Jr. But the Russian boxer was unable to avoid the WBA’s mandatory order.
“The last time a mandatory fight was held in the 175-pound division was in March 2018, so the lapse is expired for the champion and he must face the mandatory challenger as established by the rules,” Carlos Chavez, chairman of the WBA Championship Committee, told Boxing Scene.
“It should be noted that WBA Rule C.47 dictates that ‘the Committee and the President, in their sole discretion, shall consider the best interests of boxing, the purposes and policies of the Association and such other factors as may be relevant, and shall use their best efforts to balance the competing interests. The WBA is not obliged to grant a request for special permission.”
Bivol has held the WBA title since November 2017 and has made eight successful title defenses.