Back in December, right after Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (43-0, 29 KOs) stopped Yunieski Gonzalez to become the mandatory challenger for World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Heavyweight World Super Champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) who suddenly and surprisingly went dark, until he recently make an unsubstantiated claim that “Zurdo” had turned down an offer to fight him.
Bivol was quoted in a recent boxing news report, which was also picked up by other media outlets, saying, “I know for a fact that my team did offer Team Ramirez to fight me December 11th in Russia, and the purse offered was about the same as what I was offered to fight him on a (Golden Boy Promotions) show. He rejected the offer.”
“I don’t know why he’s saying they offered a fight to me,” Ramirez countered, “but he must be really confused. To be clear there was never a contract that was sent to my team or Golden Boy for a fight; unlike how a contract was delivered to him and his team from Golden Boy for the December bout. I’m confused why he continues to be a pawn and create false narratives and tries everything to hide from this fight. It’s just a matter of time before that belt comes to where it belongs.”
Ramirez, the first Mexican to capture the World super middleweight title, is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Champion, who earned his title shot against Bivol by winning his WBA Title Eliminator versus Gonzalez.
“After Bivol, Joe Smith is my next target since he has my belt (WBO) that I had at 168 pounds,” Ramirez remarked. “I am the best light heavyweight out there and it’s not even close. There’s a reason why these champs are scared to call my name, but soon they won’t have a choice. I would end Smith in less than 6 rounds.”
Bivol also said in the aforementioned story: “My motivation and my ambitions have not changed for a long time – I want to fight the best. I want to prove that I am the best in my division.”
Guess what, Dmitry, 43-0 “Zurdo” is the best!
Frustrated by Dmitry Bivol’s silence, even after Team Zurdo and Golden Boy Promotions sent the World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Heavyweight World Super Champion a legitimate contract offer, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez now has a clear path to his first World title shot in the light heavyweight division.
Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs) has been matched against Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez (21-3, 17 KOs) on December 18 in San Antonio (TX) in the official WBA Light Heavyweight Title Eliminator to determine Bivol’s mandatory challenger.
“I’m excited to end the year with this eliminator bout,” Ramirez said. “This is the path I’ve been planning for and I’m very humbled and honored to be in this position. The WBA is a great organization and I appreciate Mr. Gilberto Mendoza for allowing me to be in this position.”
Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) expressed his desire to fight Ramirez before and after the latter knocked out Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs) this past this past July. Suddenly, though, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearns claimed that Bivol would instead fight John Ryder next month in the United Kingdom, and then target WBA and WBC Super Middleweight Champion “Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs), at either 168 or 175 pounds.
“I was surprised when Bivol turned down the fight we offered because it was something I thought he wanted. I know he’s a tough warrior and aspires to be the best, which is why I was surprised. He publicly called me out and sand that he was ‘ready.’ But unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case on his end. Again, in boxing, this seems like a common scenario where a fighter barks and barks, but he can’t back it up when it’s time to fight. With this fight (vs. Gonzalez) in place, Bivol has nowhere to run, and he will eventually have to face me.
“I’m not sure why Bivol thinks Canelo will face him in the near future. The probability of that happening within the next three fights is very, very low for him. Sadly, I think he’s just the cannon fodder for this scenario.”
The first Mexican to capture the World super middleweight title, “Zurdo” has waited too long to risk his first World title opportunity in the 175-pound division to look past the dangerous Gonzalez’ (21-3, 17 KOs). Ramirez and Gonzalez, respectively, are rated No. 3 and No. 4 by the WBA, and their 12-round main event will headline a Golden Boy-promoted card to be streamed live on DAZN.
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez not looking past Yunieski Gonzalez to Dmitry Bivol
LAS VEGAS (November 23, 2021) – Too much is at stake for “Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez for the undefeated Mexican to look past his December 18th showdown with Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez (21-3, 17 KOs) to World Boxing Association Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol.
Not only is a mandatory challenger position at stake against Cuba-born Gonzalez, the perfect 42-0 (28 KOs) record is also on the line for “Zurdo” in his 12-round WBA Light Heavyweight Title Eliminator streaming live from San Antonio (TX) on DAZN. Ramirez’ promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, is presenting this event.
“I never look past any of my opponents, so I don’t have to avoid looking past Gonzalez in this fight,” Ramirez said. “I know Gonzalez is a come-forward fighter who likes to bang and fight, so I need to be careful with my approach. Just like any other fighter, my preparation for this fight has not changed. My team and I are still focused and never look beyond what’s in front of me.”
Gonzalez, 36, has won his last three fights, five of six, including the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Fedelatin Light Heavyweight Championship two fights agon, which he captured with a second-round knockout of Alex Theran (22-4) in Miami.
“He’s the No. 2 Cuban light heavyweight,” Ramirez added. “He’s been a problem to others, so I’ll need to be my best. No fighters are the same. I know Gonzalez likes to come forward more than your traditional Cuban fighter, but who knows what his style will look like on fight night? I’m preparing for all possibilities and hope to put on a show for the fans on December 18th.”
Ramirez, the first Mexican to capture the World super middleweight crown, is rated No. 4 by the WBA, Gonzalez No. 5. Their only common opponent is Tommy Karpency, who retired after the fourth round in 2019 to “Zurdo,” and he was stopped by Yunieski in the second round this past September.
“I’m confident in my training and preparation for this fight,” Ramirez concluded. “I’m ready for an all-out war, or a great boxing match. But, as always, I’m looking to finish him and get the KO victory.”