By Ben Jacobs
With the current situation regarding the IBF super middleweight title unclear at this present time, Gilberto Ramírez (30-0, 24 KOs), ranked number three by said organisation, remains focused on the job in front of him this Saturday night in Denver, Colorado. If, as some speculate, Carl Froch may vacate the title leaving Ramírez in contention to face James DeGale. However, tough Russian opponent Maxim Vlasov (30-1, 15 KOs) will ensure that the Mexican does not look too far ahead.
"We're ready for whatever may come, whatever our promoter tell us, you know this is a business," Héctor Zapari, head trainer of Ramírez told BoxingScene.
"But first we have Saturday's fight which we have to win and then we'll have a look at what happens next."
Zapari expressed his delight at seeing his man in the ring just two months after his last outing in which he stopped tough Colombian, Fulgenico Zúñiga in eight one-sided rounds.
"Gilberto did a good job against Zúñiga, he threw a lot of punches and showed his power. Zúñiga is a fighter with a lot of experience and heart but thank god everything went well. And now we're fighting again so soon. Gilberto is a young guy and our promoter Top Rank wants to keep him busy this year. We're really pleased with how things are going."
Ramírez and his team have been training in California for a number of fights, in particular Big Bear, a favoured site for many boxers over the years including Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley.
"We did the first three weeks of training which included the sparring in Los Angeles but the last three weeks have been in Big Bear. We come to Big Bear to get used to the altitude. Denver is a city about 5,000 feet above sea level, Big Bear is around 7,000 feet and a lot of boxers come here to train. We train in Abel Sánchez's gym, The Summit."
If Ramírez is to go ahead and fight the likes of James DeGale he will have to dispose of Vlasov who has only lost one fight in his career, on points against Isaac Chilemba.
"Maxim is a tough fighter, like all Russian fighters. He comes to win, he has experience, he's had 31 fights and he had a good amateur career as well. Gilberto is ready for even more and he's going to show that. He wants the best fights.
"It's a big opportunity for Gilberto making his debut on HBO, it's something he's always wanted to do."