Gilberto Ramirez confident he can wrest WBA strap from Dmitry Bivol, champion not so sure

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Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto Ramirez. Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez is convinced that he will become a two-weight world champion when he challenges Dmitry Bivol 20-0 (11) for the champion’s WBA light heavyweight title at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday night.

Ramirez won the WBO super middleweight championship from Arthur Abraham in 2016 and made five successful title defence before moving up in weight.

“I really believe that I can become a two-time world champion on Saturday… I’d like to thank Dmitry and his team for making the fight happen,” the 31-year-old Mexican southpaw said.

“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. Forty-four tried, forty-four 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.”

Russian Bivol, 31, scored a breakthrough win back in May when he comprehensively outboxed Mexican superstar and undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 58-2-2 (39) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bivol doesn’t plan to give up the belt anytime soon.

“I really had a big dream to win this belt and I don’t want to leave it,” Bivol said. “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 realise 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 September 27th. 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 realise 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.”

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