Dmitry Bivol still holds the WBA light heavyweight title, though you’d be forgiven a bit for forgetting, since the 30-year-old Russian hasn’t been in the ring since his Oct. 2019 win over Lenin Castillo, itself a fairly forgettable event.
Bivol (17-0, 11 KO) has talked a lot about his willingness to move down to 168 to fight Canelo Alvarez, and while that’s probably not on the table for 2021, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had a curious comment updating Bivol’s status when sitting down for a Matchroom YouTube video.
“Actually, we’re planning something quite bizarre, it’s going to surprise a lot of people,” Hearn said. “Two fights, one in April and one in July, both in different countries. Let’s just say that. But two good fights. And after a long period of inactivity, Dmitry Bivol looks like he’s about to get very busy.”
Given the “quite bizarre” comment, there’s really no telling what Bivol might be doing, because boxing has been really digging into the “bizarre” lately. With the way boxing has gone, Bivol could wind up fighting Robin Krasniqi in April and KSI in July.
As for what people might actually want to see, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is ranked No. 4 by the IBF, behind Krasniqi (interim champ), Joshua Buatsi, and Blake Caparello. Hearn also mentions he wants to get the eliminator between Buatsi and Caparello put together, so neither of them are likely in line for Bivol. Ramirez is promoting himself, but a one-off or short-term deal with Matchroom could be beneficial; if it’s good enough for Canelo, surely they could offer something good enough for Zurdo.
Beyond that, Bivol’s higher-ranked WBA contenders aren’t going to get anyone excited. Charles Foster, Dominic Boesel, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Craig Richards, Marcus Browne, and Mathieu Bauderlique round out the top 10. Callum Smith might be able to slip in there if he decides to move to 175 — surely the WBA would be amenable to ranking Smith high enough at 175 for a title shot.