The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee ratified the mandatory fight between light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and his mandatory challenger Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.
After receiving a request from Bivol’s promoter Matchroom for special permission to fight Joshua Buatsi, the WBA denied such permission, so Bivol and Ramirez had until yesterday (as originally planned) to reach an agreement or the fight would go to purse bid.
“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,” stated Golden Boy Chairman Oscar De La Hoya. “We will continue to work hard to support Ramirez as he campaigns to one day become a two-division world champion.”
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.
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.”