After a long training camp in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dmitry Bivol is ready and waiting to defend his title.
the gulf today, Staff reporter
WBA world light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol says he is only focused on himself ahead of next week’s title fight with Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
With both boxers undefeated throughout their careers, the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi is set to deliver fireworks on November 5. After an extended training camp in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Bivol is ready and waiting to defend his title.
The Russian arrived in Abu Dhabi on September 27 and has undergone an intensive camp under coach Gennadi Mashyanov.
During a recent open media session at Kane’s Gym, the 31-year-old looked stronger, faster and more stable than ever. With less than a week until the fight night, Bivoli’s job is now to keep it up.
“We’ve been training hard – now we just have to keep fit,” said Bivol, who maintains an unblemished record after 20 matches.
“We’re in the best shape now so we’ve just got to maintain that. It’s less about working hard now and more about just maintaining my fitness and making sure I’m at my peak on the night I step into the Etihad Arena.
His opponent, Ramirez – a hard-hitting Mexican southpaw – moved up to 175 pounds in 2019 and has added five wins to his record, bringing it to 44-0-0 with 30 KOs. He arrives in Abu Dhabi as the WBA’s mandatory number one contender after losing last year to Dominic Boesel earlier this year.
“Of course, every fight for me is a tough fight, but this one will be especially tough because he is a great opponent who is determined to win,” Bivol said.
“He doesn’t know what it’s like to lose and neither do I. I’ve been wanting to fight him for maybe four years, so I’m excited for it to happen – and for it to happen in Abu Dhabi for the first time makes it extra special.
“He wants to take my belt but I don’t want to give it to him so it promises to be a great fight. We’re both going to give 100 percent, I’m sure.
Although Bivol said that he adjusted his preparation a little – for example, he only trains with southpaws – he emphasized that he only focuses on himself. “Obviously you change your preparation a little bit when you have a different opponent, but most of the time you just have to work on yourself,” said Bivol, who secured a unanimous decision against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May.
“You can’t develop something new to the necessary high level just two months before the match, so it’s always better to focus only on improving your own strengths.“