Former World Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) has done everything short of threatening the health of World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol to get a title shot.
Ramirez has won not only one but two title eliminators, both by way of sensational knockout performances, the latest his recent 4th-round stoppage of an outclassed Dominic Boesel (32-3) to officially become the WBA mandatory challenger for Bivol, yet fresh off his impressive decision over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Bivol has said that he’d prefer to fight “Canelo” in a rematch or wait for the winner of next month’s unification fight between Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith, Jr.
Apparently, Ramirez has become the boogeyman of the light heavyweight division, at least in Bivol’s opinion. After all, Bivol talked the talk for more than a year, claiming he wanted to fight “Zurdo” because it would be a great fight for fans.
“This is my division,” Ramirez proclaimed. “There’s a reason some of these guys have avoided me. They know I’m coming for all the belts and that it’s just a matter of time. Bivol was sent a contract last year, but he avoided fighting me to fight somebody else (Umar Salomov). I’ve been asking for Beterbiev and Smith Jr., but they both know they can’t compete on my level. As I said, it’s only a matter of time until this is proven.”
“I’m not sure if he (Bivol) means what he says. He’s had a few opportunities to sign a contract (to fight Ramirez) but he didn’t. If the ‘Canelo’ rematch doesn’t happen, I’ll be in line to take the world championship away from him. We’ll see what my promoter (Golden Boy) comes up with (if a ‘Canelo’ rematch doesn’t happen next for Bivol). I’m just surprised by all the talk and lack of action from Bivol. It’s sad to see but, maybe he mans-up this time.”
Even Zurdo’s former promoter, Bob Arum (Top Rank), wants Bivol to fight Zurdo if Canelo Alvarez decides against exercising his rematch clause vs. Bivol. Arum noted that Bivol and Zurdo both fight on DAZN, while the winner of a June 18th unification fight between the other world light heavyweight champions – Artur Beterbiev (WBC & IBF) and Joe Smith, Jr. (WBO) – fights exclusively on ESPN. Arum doesn’t want the Beterbiev-Smith victor to fight Bivol on DAZN.
“So, my suggestion to Bivol is if the Canelo rematch isn’t available,” Arum recently said in and interview, “he should fight Gilberto Ramirez, who is promoted by Golden Boy, and Golden Boy and Eddie Hearn both do their fights on DAZN. So, it shouldn’t be a hard fight to make.”
Zurdo, of course, agreed with Arum: “I am not surprised by Bob’s comments. Bivol can’t just demand what he wants to Top Rank. It just doesn’t work that way. If Canelo doesn’t commit to the rematch, I’m curious what other excuses he (Bivol) might make to avoid me.”
“My team and I still have a tremendous amount of respect for Bob and Top Rank. He is one of the greatest promoters and I will always appreciate Bob for giving me an opportunity. Although we disagreed, it doesn’t mean we can’t do good business together down the line. I still cherish all my time with Top Rank and wish nothing but the best for Bob and the Top Rank family.”
Ramirez has won all five of his fights by knockout, displaying vicious body punching, since he moved up to the light heavyweight division in 2019. He simply outclassed Boesel, the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Light Heavyweight World Champion, closing the show with a damaging right hook to the German’s liver.
“I performed as expected,” Ramirez self-evaluated his fight versus Boesel. “I went into camp in great shape and continued to work with my team to become the best version of myself, Body work is something we focused on and I’m glad I was able to display it in a fight.”
The great Joe Louis once said, “They can run but they can’t hide.” Bivol shouldn’t be allowed by the WBA to continue hiding from “Zurdo”.