By: Sean Crose
“I really believe that I can become a two-time World Champion on Saturday,” said former WBO super middeweight titlist Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez just before his Saturday fight with WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol. “I want to say thank you to Oscar (promoter Oscar De La Hoya) and to everyone for being here. To my team and all of the press and media – thank you. I’d like to thank Dmitry and his team for making the fight happen.” This weekend’s title throwdown is set to go down at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi – a location Ramirez made a point of mentioning to the media during Thursday’s press conference.
“It’s exciting for me to come from Mexico and be here in Abu Dhabi.,” the undefeated 44-0 fighter said. “It’s the same weather, I feel like I’m at home. I’ve been training hard for this fight and I will take the belt this Saturday that’s for sure. 44 tried, 44 fell. I hope that the people enjoy the fight because this is the type of fight that fans like to see in boxing.” Zurdo made it clear that stardom isn’t exactly on his agenda. Leaving a legitimate legacy, however, is.
“Right now I just see it as becoming a two-time World Champion,” he said. “I don’t see it like me becoming a boxing star. My goal is to become a two-time World Champion, continue to build my legacy and eventually to become a legend. That’s my goal. I want to do that for all of my fans out there.” Whether he plans on being a star or not, Ramirez will certainly be widely lauded should he win this weekend. The last time Bivol was in the ring he bested the great Canelo Alvarez, after all. Promoter De La Hoya made sure to let the media know how important Saturday’s fight is to team Ramirez.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Zurdo Ramirez,” he said. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for boxing to be on the big stage and show the world what Abu Dhabi is, show the world what big-time boxing is, and to show the world that, yes, promoters can come together and stage the big fights.” Sure enough, Bivol-Ramirez is a fight where the best is fighting the best, something that’s been lacking in the sport recently – though, to be fair, until several weeks ago, boxing had been in a decent place overall in 2022.
Bivol-Ramirez will be broadcast live on DAZN Saturday beginning at 2:30 PM eastern time.
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