Former world super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) is on the hunt and his targets are undefeated Russians, Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, respectively, the reigning WBC/IBF and WBA light heavyweight World champions.
The 29-year-old Ramirez, who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, is currently ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, by the WBA and WBO.
Ramirez was unimpressed by Beterbiev’s recent fight and he wonders where Bivol has been the past 1 ½ years, because he hasn’t been in the ring.
In his first fight in 519 days (Oct. 12, 2019), Beterbiev showed signs of rust and Ramirez felt that he possibly showed his age (36) during his 10th round technical knockout of German opponent, Adam Deines (19-2-1, 10 KOs). Now, Beterbiev is talking about next fighting the winner of the April 10th Joe Smith, Jr. (26-3, 21 KOs) versus Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 26 KOs) on April 10th for the vacant WBO 175-pound division title. Vlasov, incidentally, was defeated by Ramirez via a 10-round unanimous decision in 2015.
“I expected a lot more from him (Beterbiev),” Ramirez talked about Beterbiev’s fight with Deines. “I thought he looked flat and dull for the majority of the fight. It’s nice of him to temporarily hold my belts, but he should know that I’m coming for all the hardware and will bring the titles back to my people in Mexico.”
Bivol hasn’t thrown a punch during a fight in 17 months, since winning a 12-round unanimous decision against Lenin Castillo. Instead of returning against a “name” fighter in defense of his WBA Super title, Bivol will be returning May 1st in London against somebody named Craig “Spider” Richards 16-1-1, 9 KOs), the WBA No. 8-rated light heavyweight who has never fought outside the United Kingdom.
“I’ve always said Dmitry Bivol was the toughest challenge out there,” Ramirez added, “which is why I want to make this fight happen. I know he’s got a fight coming up and hopefully he stays undefeated so we can make the mega-fight this summer.”