Dmitry Bivol’s team says they must remain motivated against hungry challenger Gilberto Ramirez
WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol and mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez paid a visit to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, two months before they face off in the ring in the Unite Arab Emirates.
The fight on November 5 will be Bivol’s first since his biggest win to date, when he upset pound for pound king Canelo Alvarez to retain his title. Bivol’s manager Vadim Kornilov admits that his fighter will have to recapture that same motivation to retain the title once more against an unbeaten former champion.
“Having to fight a guy like Ramirez who is very well respected, who has never lost and who has fought some of the top-level guys, it’s something that you have to overcome and it’s something that we have to do,” said Kornilov.
Bivol (20-0, 11 knockouts) says he knows Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) won’t have any issues getting up for their fight. The 6’2” southpaw has lobbied for this opportunity, which was ordered by the WBA almost immediately after Bivol’s win over Alvarez.
The 31-year-old “Zurdo” Ramirez has won all five of his bouts by knockout since beginning his campaign at 175 pounds in 2019.
“I know he wanted this fight a long time. Me too. Now it will happen,” said Bivol, a Kyrgyzstan native who now resides in Indio, Calif.
“He is a good fighter and I like challenges. I like to fight against the guy who has won 44 fights and who is bigger than me and taller than me. This is a big challenge for me.”
Ramirez says he feels comfortable, both about the fight and the climate. The hot and humid weather in Abu Dhabi reminds him of his home in Mazatlan, Mexico, and he knows he has to bring the heat against one of the sport’s top pound for pound fighters.
“He is one of the greatest 175 pounders’ and he beat one of the greatest fighters in boxing too,” said Ramirez, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
“I’ve been waiting so long for this moment and I just want to say thank you to Dmitry Bivol for taking this fight.”
The rest of the DAZN broadcast from the Etihad Arena will also include Joe Cordina defending his IBF junior lightweight title against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, plus RING junior welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron defending her championship against Jessica McCaskill.