Gilbert “Zurdo” Ramirez as well as being the most anonymous 44-0 former world champion in boxing history. He has 30 knockouts, a world super middleweight championship and five successful title defenses, yet most boxing fans couldn’t get him out of the lineup if he was standing with three Hooters girls.
He didn’t have anything really significant coming up against the quality of his first opponent.
He takes the opportunity, however, to make his name known around the world and instead faces significant fights on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, when he is undefeated. Dmitry Bivol for the WBA light heavyweight title.
Bivol is coming off a hard-fought and well-deserved victory over Canelo Alvarez in May.win, that changed his profile somewhat. One of the elite pound-for-pound in the sport, exactly the type of guy Ramirez didn’t fight during his 13-year professional career that began when he was still a teenager.
It will be the preduration of Bivol who will define him, because no one will question Bivol. It is Ramirez, despite his sparkling record, all the championship victories and knockouts that prove a lot.
He is not, but he is overwhelmed or loves to become a star.
“I see now that he’s a two-time champion,” Ramirez said. “I don’t see myself becoming a boxing star. My goal is to become a two-time world champion, continue to build a legacy and eventually become a legend. That’s my goal. I want to do what I can for all my fans out there.”
You won’t become a legend by beating second-tier fighters. You do that by beating the best, often in hostile circles, like the one coming to the Etihad Arena on Saturday, which can weigh on the pro-Bivol figures.
His promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was the type of fighter who fought at any time. De La Hoya won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics and then capitalized on his reputation by going out and winning, the best of his age in the over six weight classes.
Big argued about the importance of the best fight of the best, and went crazy on social media at that point on Wednesday.
So it’s time for Ramirez to do the same, and De La Hoya believes Bivoli will be stunned if he expects Ramirez to step down from Alvarez.
“I love Bivol; His style is one of the best in the business,” De La Hoya said. “I believe Bivolum, coming off a huge victory against Canelo, another Mexican superstar, had a great show in his last fight. He did a great job. But to say that Zurdo Ramirez is not Canelo. Zurdo Ramirez is a fighter who packs punches, a big, strong, heavy and southpaw fighter. The future will be very active.
“This is the opportunity of his life for Zurdo Ramirez. This is the opportunity of his life to be a boxer in a big state and to show the world what Abu Dhabi is, to show the world what big time boxing is and to show the world that, yes, supporters, can come together and stage great fights” .
It won’t be easy for Ramirez, though, as Bivol has repeatedly proven that he’s far tougher than most would give him credit for. He was largely overlooked and overlooked before the Alvarez fight, but when that final bell rang, there was no need to read the tally. It was clear who won that battle.
If Bivol wins, he has his eyes on Artur Beterbiev, the only champion who holds the IBF-WBC-WBO belts. But he’s smart enough to know that Ramirez has a way to go.
He insists he’s not resting on his laurels after beating Alvarez and doesn’t expect a victory over Ramirez.
“When people tell me I’ve got it all, it’s like pouring out [fuel] in my fire,” said Bivol. “I’m just trying to think about the dream so that you realize my full potential. I will try to be hungry and angry all the time and focus on my training and my opponents. I will try to imagine how this Saturday night will be the most difficult fight of my life. This made me more focused at night. “