Ramirez vows to dethrone Bivol before taking aim at Canelo

Revenge-hungry Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez vows to dethrone light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in November before taking aim at countryman Canelo Alvarez as he bids to become Mexico’s biggest star

  • Gilberto Ramirez takes on Dmitry Bivol on November 5 in an enticing clash 
  • ‘Zurdo’ has vowed to avenge his countryman Canelo Alvarez’s defeat in May
  • Canelo fell to a shock unanimous decision loss to the unbeaten Russian
  • Ramirez insists he will fight ‘anyone’ should he win, however, including Canelo 

Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez has three goals in mind: to avenge Canelo Alvarez’s defeat to Dmitry Bivol, to become undisputed light-heavyweight champion, and to reign as the top Mexican sport star in the world.

The unbeaten southpaw (44-0) faces the toughest test of his career as he goes toe-to-toe with WBA light-heavyweight champion Bivol – who announced himself to the world with victory over Canelo in May – on November 5.

Canelo had long been heralded as boxing’s undoubted pound-for-pound No 1, particularly after becoming undisputed champion in Ramirez’s former stomping ground, the super-middleweight division.

Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (centre right) and Dmitry Bivol (centre left) square off on November 5

Ramirez is seeking revenge for Mexico after Bivol claimed a stunning win over Canelo Alvarez

Oleksandr Usyk now holds that title for most following his second successive win over Anthony Joshua, however, while Canelo will battle for his reputation – and collection of belts at 168lbs – in his eagerly-anticipated trilogy bout against long-term rival Gennady Golovkin in September.

Reflecting on what was a bitterly disappointing night for Mexico, Ramirez said: ‘Even for me it was sad. 

‘I knew it would be a hard fight for Canelo, but he lost by a unanimous decision. Bivol did really well in that fight. He beat one of the greatest in boxing.’

‘I will take that belt for Mexico and it will be revenge,’ he continued. ‘I will avenge Canelo and Mexico and take the belts back.’

Though sharing sympathy for his beaten countryman, Ramirez doesn’t share the star’s opinion regarding a bout between the pair, after Canelo insisted he wouldn’t fight his fellow Mexican. 

Ramirez, on the other hand, insists as a fighter he would take on ‘anyone’, and that includes the 57-2-2 star.

Canelo has revealed he wouldn’t want to fight Ramirez to avoid taking on another Mexican

 Ramirez has questioned his countryman’s stance, however, insisting he would fight anyone

‘For me, we are fighters and we he have to fight anyone they put in front of us,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what happened for him, why he wouldn’t want to fight any Mexican people.

‘It’s sad because the fans want to see two Mexicans in the ring and guarantee a war. I don’t know what happened.’

The immediate focus for Ramirez is a career-defining encounter against Bivol, however, with the Russian coming into the bout as the overwhelming favourite. 

The pair have sparred countless rounds while Ramirez was the super-middleweight champion, though, and the Mexican has taken great belief from those encounters. 

‘He was a champion at 175lbs and I was a champion at 168lbs, so it was amazing sparring for me. I always like to have someone good in front of me.

‘I’m confident I can beat him. I’m bigger than him. My style too. It will be a great fight.’

For Ramirez, he’s fighting for more than just glory, and more than just revenge; the 31-year-old – who has already established a foundation in his home city in Mexico – still dreams of giving back further.

Ramirez dreams of bringing back the world title belts to his home city of Mazlatan, Mexico

‘I have my foundation there in Mazatlan, where I grew up,’ he said. ‘I put a gym there. It’s free for all the kids and for anyone who wants to train there. We have a few trainers there. They can train every day.

‘We have different classes: 10-12 and then 4-7. They can play football or basketball and they can eat food there. It’s amazing, because I can come back and all the kids yell my name. It’s an amazing feeling.

‘I feel like they’re part of myself. It’s great having all the kids, giving them food and school. It’s a great feeling.

‘When I was a kid in the same place, people would help me. They helped me for school, for food, they gave us toys for Christmas and New Year. I want to give something back to them.’

Ramirez insists nothing would fill those who attend his foundation with more pride than him becoming undisputed champion.

A bout against WBC, WBO and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev is a frightening prospect, but for Ramirez, the opportunity to bring a full collection of belts home would fulfil a life-long ambition.

‘I eventually want to hold all the belts. It’s a dream for me, and I want to take the belts to Mexico, too,’ he said. ‘I want to have a fight there in Mazatlan. The last time I fought there was about nine years ago.’

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