By: Shane Willoughby
The former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez will become the mandatory of the winner of Kovalev vs Yarde.
As a WBO champion, once you move to a different weight division, it is a rule for you to become mandatory for the WBO champion in that division. This is something we have seen quite a few times this year when both Saunders and Usyk became a mandatory challenger in their division.
What does this mean for both Yarde and Kovalev? The winner of Saturday’s bout is set to face, arguably a tougher opponent than the one in front of them now.
Gilberto Ramirez is 40-0 and made 6 successful defences of his WBO super middleweight title before moving up to light heavyweight and then stopping Veteran Tommy Karpency.
For Kovalev, the Mexican fighter could be a massive hindrance to his plans, as the Russian is looking to Face cash cow Canelo at the end of the year, but may have to face Ramirez before. Which could be a much harder task than Yarde who is inexperienced and untested.
For the Brit to get past Kovalev will be a historic achievement, especially when you consider the fact that he is travelling to the champions home town. However, many say that the ‘Krusher’ is on the slide and past his best.
So even if Yarde pulls off the miraculous task and beats Kovalev, many will argue that he has a much tougher task ahead of him once Ramirez becomes mandatory.