Dmitry Bivol is set to follow up on the biggest win of his career.
It comes against an upset-minded former titlist in undefeated southpaw Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, as the two are set to collide for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title. Both boxers made weight for their scheduled 12-round clash atop a loaded DAZN telecast that airs Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET) presented by Matchroom Boxing in its ‘Champion Series’ launch from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Bivol (20-0, 11KOs) was 174.7 pounds as he attempts the tenth defense of his WBA ‘Super’ light heavyweight title. Ramirez (44-0, 30KOs) was 174.6 pounds ahead of his bid to become a two-division titlist.
Bivol enters the ring for the first time since his tour-de-force performance in outclassing four-division champ and pound-for-pound king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their May 7 DAZN Pay-Per-View headliner in Las Vegas. The 31-year-old long-reigning titlist from Saint Petersburg, Russia was a clear winner to all observers but had to settle for scores of 115-113 on all three cards.
Friday’s weigh-in marked the five-year anniversary of the first title defense for Bivol after being upgraded to full WBA light heavyweight titlist. Bivol—who is co-promoted by Matchroom Boxing and World of Boxing—previously held a secondary version of the belt prior to being promoted ahead of a first-round knockout of Trent Broadhurst in their November 2017 title fight in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Ramirez (44-0, 30KOs) previously held the WBO super middleweight title, which he won in an April 2016 unanimous decision over Arthur Abraham. Five title defenses followed before moving up to light heavyweight beginning with an April 2019 knockout victory over Tommy Karpency.
Ramirez saw a career stall as he came at odds with Top Rank before they parted ways in 2020. The 31-year-old fighting pride of Mazatlan, Mexico has since signed with Golden Boy Promotions, winning three straight under their banner in advancing to the mandatory position in the WBA rankings. He enters on the heels of a fourth-round knockout of Dominic Boesel on May 14 to cement his position as Bivol’s next challenger.
Jessica McCaskill (12-2, 5KOs) takes the rare step of moving down in weight in her quest to become a two-division undisputed champion.
The Chicago-based lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO welterweight queen was 139.4 pounds in her return to the junior welterweight division. McCaskill challenges WBC/IBF champion Chantelle Cameron, who weighed 139.6 pounds for their undisputed junior welterweight championship which also comes with the vacant WBA/WBO titles at stake.
McCaskill (12-2, 5KOs) held the unified WBA/WBC titles in her three-fight stay in the 140-pound division. then moved up to welterweight, dethroning long-reigning undisputed champ and pound-for-pound queen Cecilia Braekhus in August 2020. Three title defenses followed, including a repeat win over Braekhus last March as the 38-year-young pound for pound entrant has won seven in a row since a loss to Ireland’s Katie Taylor in a 2017 lightweight title fight.
Cameron (16-0, 8KOs) has quickly established herself as the class of the 140-pound division through five years as a pro. The 31-year-old from Northampton entered the title picture in an October 2020 win over unbeaten Adriana dos Santos to claim the vacant WBC 140-pound title. Two fights later, Cameron outpointed Mary McGee in their terrific WBC/IBF unification bout last October 30 in London. She has since added a ten-round win over Victoria Bustos on May 21 also in London.
Shavkat Rakhimov and Zelfa Barrett will meet for the vacant IBF junior lightweight title. Tajikistan’s Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13KOs) and Manchester’s Barrett (28-1, 16KOs) both weighed in right at the 130-pound limit for what will serve as the first-ever major title fight to take place in Abu Dhabi.
The winner will be required to next face Joe Cordina, the now former titlist who was stripped for failure to defend against Rakhimov on this very show due to suffering a broken right hand requiring surgery.
FULL WEIGHTS – DAZN (1:30 p.m. ET):
Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs), Saint Petersburg, Russia, 174.7 pounds vs. Gilberto Ramirez (44-0, 30KOs), Mazatlan, Mexico, 174.6 pounds—12 rounds, for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title
Chantelle Cameron (16-0, 8KOs), Northampton, 139.6 pounds vs. Jessica McCaskill (12-2, 5KOs), Chicago, 139.4 pounds—10 rounds for undisputed junior welterweight championship
Shavkat Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13KOs), Bokhtar, Tajikistan, 130 pounds vs. Zelfa Barrett (28-1, 16KOs), Manchester, England, 130 pounds—12 rounds for vacant IBF junior lightweight title
Galal Yafai (2-0, 2KOs), Birmingham, UK 111.9 pounds vs. Gohan Rodriguez (12-1-1, 1KO), Durango, Mexico, 111 pounds—10 rounds, flyweight
Khalid Yafai (26-1, 15KOs), Birmingham, 120 3/4 pounds vs. Jerald Paclar (16-5-3, 9KOs), Cebu City, Philippines, 117.6 pounds—10 rounds, bantamweight
Majid Al Naqbi (7-0, 4KOs), Dubai, 137.7 pounds vs. John Lawrence Ordonio (7-4-1, 4KOs), 138.9 pounds—6 rounds, junior welterweight