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Oscar De La Hoya confident that Gilberto Ramirez gets next shot at Dmitriy Bivol

Gilberto Ramirez. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Oscar De La Hoya is confident unbeaten light heavyweight contender Gilberto Ramirez will be the next fighter to face WBA world titleholder Dmitriy Bivol. 

Ramirez defeated Dominic Boesel by knockout on May 14 at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California to become the mandatory challenger to face Bivol. 

There have been recent rumors of Bivol defending his WBA world title belt against Joshua Buatsi of England, but De La Hoya is adamant Ramirez (44-0, 30 knockouts), who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, will be the one who will next face Bivol.

“He is the mandatory (challenger),” De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy, told The Ring in a recent interview. “We’re excited the WBA is pushing for it. ‘Zurdo’ versus Bivol is probably one of the most anticipated fights today, along with many others. Bivol beat Canelo (Alvarez) easily and that caused no problems. Now ‘Zurdo’ can avenge that loss and get revenge for all the Mexican fans.

“His confidence level (is higher). When you’re surrounded by a great team, with a legend at the helm, it gives a fighter a sense of confidence and takes you to a whole new level, (especially) when you train, your mentality, when you go in the ring and fight. I’ve seen ‘Zurdo’ grow over these last several years we’ve had him. He’s 4-0, with 4 knockouts. It tells you a lot. I’ll maybe take .40 percent credit for that.”  

There have also been calls for Bivol to face Artur Beterbiev, who successfully defended his WBC and IBF world titles by stopping Joe Smith on June 18. Beterbiev also won Smith’s WBO world title. 

Now that Beterbiev is facing Anthony Yarde in late October in London, a Bivol-Beterbiev unification fight for the undisputed light heavyweight championship is on hold. Bivol could face Ramirez in the meantime later this fall with the winner facing Alvarez in May of next year. A Bivol-Ramirez fight would put two of the top light heavyweights against each other. Bivol is ranked No. 1 and Ramirez is ranked No. 3, respectively, by The Ring. 

Alvarez is defending his Ring Magazine super middleweight championship against Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17. 

The 31-year-old Ramirez is a former WBO world super middleweight titleholder. Since making the move up to 175 pounds, Ramirez has stopped his last five opponents. 

Ramirez, who resides in Mazatlan, Mexico, is trained by Julian Chua. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing


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