Oscar De La Hoya has spoken out this week ahead of the fight in Abu Dhabi between Dmitry Bivol and his charge Gilberto Ramirez, claiming Bivol’s team wanted nothing to do with the hard-punching Mexican.
Despite being 44-0, Ramirez is still somewhat thought of as an unknown quantity and represents a dangerous return to the ring for Bivol after his sensational win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May.
And Golden Boy boss De La Hoya told Boxing Social that the Russian was left with no other choice but to lock horns with Ramirez.
“Believe me when I say this, nobody in Bivol’s side wanted this fight. It’s a very dangerous fight. The WBA made the right decision, they came to terms where Bivol had to fight Zurdo Ramirez.”
“I think that could work in Ramirez’ favour. In Bivol’s head, he thought he could be fighting someone else – maybe the Canelo rematch.”
“Zurdo Ramirez has done the work, he’s struggled to get to the top and he’s taken the hard road.”
As well as a potential rematch with Canelo, a fight with Britain’s Joshua Buatsi was also said to be in the works before the WBA ordered Bivol to defend his title against Ramirez.
Bivol has already said that, should he be successful on Saturday night, he has his eyes set on a mammoth undisputed clash with countryman Artur Beterbiev, holder of the WBC, IBF and WBO world titles.
However, as a former world champion at super middleweight, Ramirez can ill afford to be overlooked and many in the sport believe he could be the toughest test of Bivol’s career to date.