The deal is done for Dmitry Bivol to defend the WBA light heavyweight title in a much-anticipated bout with mandatory challenger and former super middleweight titleholder Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.
Faced with the prospect of a Sunday afternoon purse bid in Orlando, Florida, Bivol promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Ramirez, made a deal to hold the fight on Nov. 5 (DAZN) in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
They informed the sanctioning organization via email and the purse bid was canceled.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) auction between Dmitry Bivol (@bivol_d) and Gilberto Ramírez (@ZurdoRamirezz), due to be held on today, was suspended because both sides reached an agreement to fight on November 5 in United Arab Emirates
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) August 21, 2022
“I am delighted to confirm that we have agreed terms for Bivol v Ramirez,” Hearn wrote to the WBA. “(Golden Boy president) Eric (Gomez) will also confirm. Please cancel today’s scheduled purse bid. We look forward to a great fight!”
Gomez replied, “This is correct. Please cancel the bid. We look forward to an amazing promotion! Thanks Eddie and WBA.”
The fight has been a long time coming. Ramirez has been chasing Bivol for more than a year and finally got his man when earlier this month the WBA, which ordered the bout on July 11, denied Bivol’s request for an exception to instead next face fellow Matchroom fighter Joshua Buatsi in the fight Hearn was trying to get approved.
Golden Boy and Ramirez objected and the WBA upheld the right of Ramirez, who had already won two title elimination bouts, to get the next shot at Bivol.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), 31, of Russia, who is coming off a career-defining win over Canelo Alvarez in May, has not made a mandatory defense since March 2018.
Mexican southpaw Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs), 31, knocked out Yunieski Gonzalez in the 10th round in December and Dominic Boesel in the fourth round in May in back-to-back title eliminators.
“We are headed to Abu Dhabi and Zurdo will prove he is the best light heavyweight when he fights Bivol Nov. 5,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya told Fight Freaks Unite and Big Fight Weekend on Sunday afternoon.
Hearn noted the deal on his social media.
“Straight up to close another brilliant fight this morning,” Hearn wrote. “Bivol vs. Ramirez done for November 5th.”