Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez are just about 48 hours from their WBA light heavyweight title fight in Abu Dhabi, where Bivol will look to make a stronger case for Fighter of the Year and Ramirez will look to score the upset and claim a world title in a second division.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KO) is coming off of a May win over Canelo Alvarez, of course, and Ramirez (44-0, 30 KO) is his WBA mandatory challenger. But this is no ordinary “mandatory” fight — this is about as good a fight as there is to make at 175 lbs right now.
“I really had a big dream to win this belt and I don’t want to leave it. I will fight for this and I want to keep it. I want more. I feel I have something inside of me which I need to realize so I can be happy at the end of my career.
“What about this camp? I had it in three locations, I had a great camp everywhere. The last location was Abu Dhabi. I have been here since Sept. 27. I feel like I had everything that I needed for training. When I thought about resting, I had everything for resting here. When I met people in the gym or the mall everyone was really happy. People have been very welcoming to me and my team. People are welcoming to every tourist here. It’s good.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday night. I believe it will be an exciting fight. Abu Dhabi will make more boxing fights and maybe boxing will be the main sport in Abu Dhabi. I hope it will be because this is my favorite sport in the world. I want to be everywhere, and people know the sport. It’s great. Thank you everyone.
“When people tell me that I have achieved everything it’s like they pour water on my fire. I try to only think about my dream, to realize my full potential. I try to be hungry and angry every time and be focused on training and my opponents. I try to think about how this Saturday night will be the hardest fight of my career. It makes me more focused on the night.”
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez
“I really believe that I can become a two-time world champion on Saturday. I want to say thank you to Oscar 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.
“It’s exciting for me to come from Mexico and be here in Abu Dhabi. 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.
“Right now I just see it as becoming a two-time world champion, 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.”