Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez landed the fight he always wanted from the moment he arrived at light heavyweight.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, a deal was reached at the eleventh hour for Mexico’s Ramirez to move forward with his owed mandatory title challenge of WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol, just in time to avoid a purse bid hearing. The bout will take place November 5 at a site to be determined in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Ramirez (44-0, 30KOs) has long desired a showdown with Bivol (20-0, 11KOs), more so after the 31-year-old from Russia by way of Kyrgyzstan outclassed Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) on May 7 in Las Vegas. Ramirez kept his place in line following a fourth-round knockout of Dominic Boesel in their final eliminator one week later to become the number-one challenger to the WBA title Bivol has held for nearly five years.
“I feel like it is my responsibility to take him down,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com. “I will do my best. I will take that shot and I will take the title. It’s a great opportunity for me. Dmitry went out and got a really good win against one of the best fighters.
“Now I have him in my sights and I’m ready to take everything that he has.”
Five straight wins have come of Ramirez’s light heavyweight campaign, all ending inside the distance including knockout victories in two separate title eliminators. The streak follows his near three-year stay as WBO super middleweight titlist dating back when he dethroned Arthur Abraham in their April 2016 title fight in Las Vegas.
Bivol was roughly one month away from winning an interim title which he eventually upgraded to the full version in November 2017 and has since defended six times. None have been bigger than when he defeated Alvarez, who entered as the sport’s pound-for-pound king though moving up in weight for his unsuccessful title bid.
The May DAZN Pay-Per-View event saw 6’0” Bivol enter as the significantly taller and naturally bigger fighter. That same advantage won’t be enjoyed in November against the 6’2 ½” Ramirez, who aims to win titles all the way up to heavyweight before his career is through.
For now, the next step in becoming a five-division champ (Ramirez includes the WBC’s bridgerweight title among his goals) is to end one of the sport’s longest active title reigns come November.
“Our fight will end with my hand raised,” Ramirez vowed. “It will be a great fight for 12 rounds, not only for me but for all my fans.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox