Ramirez unimpressed by Beterbiev form

On the hunt for a world championship tilt at light-heavyweight, former WBO 168lbs king Gilberto Ramirez was underwhelmed by unified champion Artur Beterbiev’s recent performance against Adam Deines.

WBC and IBF boss Beterbiev halted Deines in 10 rounds in Moscow earlier this month, but showed some signs of ringrust after an 18-month layoff. The Russian is angling to meet the winner of the vacant WBO title clash between Joe Smith and Maxim Vlasov who square off on April 10, but Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) fancies a Beterbiev fight himself.

“I expected a lot more from him [Beterbiev],” said Mexican Ramirez, who recently signed for Golden Boy Promotions. “I thought he looked flat and dull for the majority of the fight. It’s nice of him to temporarily hold my belts, but he should know that I’m coming for all the hardware and will bring the titles back to my people in Mexico.”

Ramirez believes WBA ‘Super’ title holder Dmitry Bivol, who defends his crown against Craig Richards on May 1, is the stronger Russian and champion at the weight.

“I’ve always said Dmitry Bivol was the toughest challenge out there, which is why I want to make this fight happen,” said Ramirez. “I know he’s got a fight coming up and hopefully he stays undefeated so we can make the mega-fight this summer.”