WBA (Super) light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol defended his world title against Gilberto Ramirez in his final appearance of 2022. It cemented his place at the top of the rankings in his division and ensured he maintained his 100% record as a professional.
Bivol showed exactly how good he was earlier this year when he defeated Canelo Alvarez. He went into that fight as an underdog, but he got the decision on all three of the judges’ scorecards, inflicting the first loss on the Mexican since September 2013.
Here is a look at who Bivol could face next in the ring in 2023.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) November 3, 2022
Two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez is one of the highest-rated boxers in the sport. The undefeated boxer is set to defend his WBC title against Caleb Plant in early 2023, where he is the odds-on favorite at 4/7 in the sports betting for the fight.
Benavidez is likely to be one of the sports betting tips for that fight with Plant, as he has shown in his last three contests. He has a lot of power in this division. The American has stopped Ronald Ellis, Kyrone Davis, and David Lemieux. The latter came courtesy of a third-round TKO against the former world champion in Glendale, Arizona, to land the vacant WBC crown.
It would be no surprise to see Benavidez become a light heavyweight in the future. The 25-year-old would not look out of place at the weight. A clash with Bivol would be one of the most exciting fights in 2023, should the bout be made.
If Bivol wants to unify the four major belts in the light heavyweight division, he will need to face Artur Beterbiev. The Russian-Canadian boxer holds the WBC, IBF, and WBO crowns. He won the latter with a victory over Joe Smith Jr back in June.
Beterbiev and Bivol have been world champions since 2017 but have yet to meet each other. Beterbiev has an impressive record of winning all 18 of his fights inside the distance, with the furthest he has been in a pro fight being the 10th round.
After his success against Ramirez, Bivol stated he wanted to fight Beterbiev next. If a deal can be agreed upon, then it looks as though both men would be happy to put their belts on the line to create an undisputed light heavyweight champion.
— Mirror Fighting (@MirrorFighting) September 16, 2018
Since losing to Bivol in May, Alvarez has returned to the ring to defeat his old rival Gennady Golovkin. The super middleweight champion may want to avenge his loss with Bivol next year.
A second victory over the man who is one of the greatest boxers of his reputation would help Bivol enhance his reputation further. Furthermore, it would be a fight that would generate a lot of interest worldwide.
Bivol has had a fantastic year in 2022, and if 2023 goes the same way for him, he could end it at the top of the pound-for-pound list in the sport, so there is a lot at stake for him.