Dmitry Bivor, as a man without a country, took part in the biggest fight of his career.

The starting point of Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine has created ramifications for boxing. The WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO jointly ruled on February 24 that he would not sanction any boxing events held in Russia or Belarus in the wake of the war. The WBA has taken the special step of replacing fighters from one country in the rankings with a “#NoWar” disclaimer in the country category and the fighter’s name was previously listed as “Not Rated.”

The question at the time was whether it applied at the championship level.

At the time, the Kyrgyzstan-born boxer, who had lived in St. Petersburg, Russia since the age of 11, Bivol was the 2021 Fighter of the Year and undisputed super-middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and WBA Light Heavyweight. I had a contract to defend my class title. Weight gain champion. Both boxers made the official announcement on March 1, more than two months before his May 7 DAZN pay-per-view at his T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. held a court in San Diego for

Even if the WBA determined the belt was not at stake, the question arose whether the fight would go ahead. opened the way.

Vivol was able to handle the rest from there.

However, there were exceptions. Biborg could not refer to his homeland of Russia, per the WBA’s Pursuit for Peace rules. He overcame that distinction and the odds literally piled up against him.Considered a +400 betting underdog by the bet365 sportsbook, Alvarez was listed as a -550 favorite and one of the longtime title list We took the throne and entered the trilogy on September 17th. He will face Gennady Golovkin.

The only thing right by the end of the match was that Alvarez-Golovkin III remained unscathed. Alvarez earned the stigma of being utterly defeated by Bivol, who put in a career-best performance against what is considered the sport’s biggest star and the world’s pound-for-pound champion. Put on and stepped into the third fight.

Justices Tim Cheatham (115-113), Dave Moretti (115-113) and Steve Weisfeld (115-113) were closer than most observers expected. The universal view was that, regardless of the final score, Bivol was the clear winner of an evening that effortlessly overcame politics both within sport and on a global scale.

Instead, Bivol scored an elusive, long career-defining victory after years as a high-risk, low-reward titleholder.

The 32-year-old boxer’s next fight drew far more fanfare than any other fight not featuring Alvarez. This time around, the industry knew better than to doubt Bivol’s chances against undefeated mandatory challenger and former WBO super-middleweight title list Gilberto ‘Zuldo’ Ramirez of Mexico.

Bivol got off to a strong start and delivered a strong performance at the 5 November meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, without looking back, fully justifying the odds in his favor. rice field. Judges Stanley Christodoulou (117-111), Pawel Kardyni (117-111) and Jean-Robert Laine (118-110) all ruled in Bivol’s favor, making Bivol his tenth in five years. successfully defended. of Trent Broadhurst’s first-round knockout shortly after his upgrade to the WBA’s primary light heavyweight titleholder.

It capped off an unlikely in-ring campaign that saw Bivol dismiss out-of-ring adversity to solidify his place among the sport’s elite. A year that began by telling us to expect little endorsement ends with Bivol serving as a slam-dunk choice as BoxingScene.com’s 2022 Fighter of the Year.

Here are the runners-up in alphabetical order for BoxingScene.com’s 2022 “Fighter of the Year” awards:

Jermell Charlo: Now that the sport is back to full form, one-fight campaigns typically don’t get this category consideration. Houston’s Charlo (35-1-19 KOs) defeated undefeated Brian Castano in a rematch on May 14 with his knockout in the 10th round, scoring his count with one shot. With this win, Charlo completely unifies the junior middleweight division, adding Castano’s WBO belt to his collection, which includes lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF titles, and a questionable split decision last July. Significantly improved performance on draws.

Hector Luis Garcia: Biggest surprise of the year. The undefeated Dominican has kept a low profile since turning pro to represent his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics. His breakout performance came quickly, replacing the ill Roger Gutierrez and previously undefeated Chris, who not only upset Colbert but let him do so in dominant fashion. Garcia (16-0, 10KO; 3NC) won the WBA Junior Lightweight title with his 12-round victory over Gutierrez in August.

Devin Haney: The Las Vegas-based boxer cemented his position as the leader of the pack after dominating former undefeated and unified champion George Kambosos Jr. twice. Both fights took place in Melbourne, Australia, with Haney (29-0, 15KOs) taking part in his undisputed June 5th. The championship remains uncertain as to whether his father/head trainer Bill Haney will be able to travel due to visa issues, Haney put in a career-best performance and at 23 became the youngest of his four-belt era. The family reunited just in time to become the undisputed champion of the . Their October rematch is for Haney, who is looking to defend his title against former three-division titlelist Vasily Lomachenko next spring to make a leap in the 2023 Fighter of the Year race. was equally dominant.

Naoya Inoue: Yokohama’s Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) settling for honorable mention after defeating two incumbent title lists to become the undisputed bantamweight champion speaks volumes to his talent level. I’m here. The 3rd division champion and pound-for-pound contestant defeated Nonito his Donaire in a rematch on June 7, defeating the 4th division champion, and in round two he reigned on the WBC 118-pound title list, earning an important I participated as a favorite of a bet. Lineal, WBA and IBF collections. After that, Inoue effortlessly dismantled his WBO title-listed Paul his butter in his December 13 undisputed clash within 11 rounds, becoming the first anyone by an Asian in the multi-belt era to do so. became a recognized champion.

Jesse ‘Bum’ Rodriguez: The sport’s most active title list, San Antonio’s Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) has emerged as a rising star to watch with three victories in the season. Rodriguez vacated his WBC 115 lbs on February 4th with his title former champion Carlos He beat Cuadras and sick Suri Saket He replaced Solunvisay Only he gained weight six days before the major He became the first boxer born in 2000 to win his title. He defended it twice, knocking out former two-time champion Sorlu Lumbisaye within eight rounds at the San Antonio Homecoming on June 25 and Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin on September 17 in Las Vegas. outpointed two-time title challenger Israel Gonzalez in the 12th round. .

Kenshiro Terachi: Two wins of the year, the flame-throwing Teraj (20-1, 12 KOs) avenged his only career defeat, erasing his previously undefeated compatriot and stepping into the ring of ‘Amazing Boy’. I tried not to be ashamed of Monica. The 30-year-old from Kyoto furiously regained the WBC junior flyweight title by knocking out Masamichi Yabuki in the third round of a rematch on March 19. Teraj established himself as an elite 108-pounder in his WBC/WBA junior flyweight title match on Nov. 1 after Hiroto Kyoguchi lost his 7th round unanimously . unification war.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer at BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox


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