Gilberto Ramirez is confident of becoming undisputed light heavyweight champion within his next two or three fights.
The Mexican southpaw—aptly better known as ‘Zurdo’—is scheduled to face reigning WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs) on November 5. With a win, the plan would be to immediately explore an undisputed showdown with Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18KOs), the true lineal champ and unified WBC/IBF/WBO titlist.
“That is my expectation, to win all the titles,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com. “This is first, then we will fight Artur Beterbiev to become undisputed.”
Ramirez, Bivol and Beterbiev all won their latest fights within a six-week span. Ramirez (44-0, 30KOs)—a former WBO super middleweight titlist—had the easiest assignment of the bunch, stopping Germany’s Dominic Boesel in the fourth round of their May 14 final eliminator in Ontario, California. The fight came one week after Bivol—a Kyrgyzstan-born boxer who lives in Russia—outclassed undisputed super middleweight king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in an unsuccessful WBA light heavyweight title bid on May 7 in Las Vegas.
Beterbiev added to his unified title reign, unseating WBO titlist Joe Smith in a second-round knockout on June 18 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.
“I think it was great. Artur Beterbiev did a great job in this fight,” Ramirez said of Beterbiev’s performance. “Got rid of Joe Smith in two rounds, let’s go home. He got in there and got out of there. I was happy for him.”
The unbeaten Chechen fighter—who represented Russia in the 2008 Olympics but is now based out of Montreal—will next face WBO mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde. It was scheduled for October 29 in the United Kingdom, but now it will take place in early 2023 after Beterbiev withdrew with an injury.
By his own admission, Ramirez believes the toughest challenge out there is the one directly in his sights.
“I think Dmitry Bivol is the best out of the two,” suggested Ramirez, who has scored five straight knockouts since moving up to light heavyweight in 2019. “He has the better footwork, he’s a really good boxer. He sets up his punches really well.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox