Dmitry Bivol hails Zurdo Ramirez as ‘toughest’ challenger and vows to become world’s best boxer

Dmitry Bivol and Zurdo Ramirez went face to face for the first time as they prepare to put their undefeated records on the line in a mouth-watering light-heavyweight showdown in November.

Bivol shook the boxing world last May after becoming the first man since Floyd Mayweather to beat Canelo Alvarez. 

That victory not only maintained Bivol's undefeated record, but also thrust him into the mainstream spotlight and put him on the path for further blockbuster fights - starting in November with the challenge of Ramirez.

Speaking at the press conference, Bivol was complimentary about his upcoming opponent - who will arrive in Abu Dhabi with a perfect 44-0 record - saying: "Maybe it's one of the toughest fights of my career. I'm thinking like that every time before my fights.

"I know he [Ramirez] wanted this fight a long time. Me too. And now it will happen, and I'm glad.

"He's a good fighter and I like challenges, I like to fight against the guy who has 44 fights, who is bigger than me, who is taller. This is big challenge for me and I hope it will be a great night on November 5."

Bivol has a number of possible fights down the line, including a rematch against Canelo and a light-heavyweight blockbuster with fellow Russian Artur Beterbiev.

Nevertheless, the 31-year-old is not thinking past Ramirez, adding: "I have to be focused only on this fight. Every time when I have a fight, I focus only on this fight.

"Of course, I have great plans in my head, I want to be the best fighter in the world and get more belts. But now, I have a big fight against a good fighter.

"Of course, it's a little bit bothering me that I have to fight, after this fight, against Canelo, against Beterbiev, against everyone. But I try to be focused only on November 5."

The inaugural press conference ahead of the fight was conducted respectfully, with both fighters complementing each other.

Ramirez hailed his opponent as one of the "best", saying: "He is one of the greatest, one of the best 175 pound, and he is one of the best and greatest in boxing too.

"Congratulations for him. I knew it would be a tough fight for Canelo, but it was a great night for Bivol because beat him by unanimous decision."

The two men will clash for Bivol's WBA (Super) light-heavyweight belt at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on November 5.

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