Confident WBO World Champion Gilberto Ramirez Talks Future Opponents

World Boxing Organization [WBO] super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramírez’s (37-0, 25 KOs) next defence will be in Oklahoma on June 30 against the hard-hitting Roamer Alexis Angulo (23-0, 20 KOs) of Colombia. Angulo, trained by respected Cuban coach Pedro Díaz, is based out of Miami and, although he is not well known on the boxing landscape, enters the bout with a high knock out ratio.

Speaking from his training camp in Los Angeles, California, Ramírez told BoxingScene.com that he is preparing for the encounter as he would for any other.

“I know that he’s a strong fighter, a hard puncher, he has a good record and as always we are preparing 100% for this to come out with the win,” he assured.

“He’s coming to take my belt away from me so that’s why I train so hard. I have to train harder than my opponents.”

Last February, Gilberto retained his WBO title against the previously unbeaten Habib Ahmed in what was a convincing display culminating in a sixth-round stoppage by the referee after Ahmed’s corner threw in the towel.

“I was happy to win so dominantly, and I hope this next one will be no different. I want to win convincingly.”

‘Zurdo’, originally from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico now trains in Los Angeles for his fights and finds the base there to be of great benefit.

“We come and go really,” he explained.

“We train in Los Angeles but of course my family is back in Mazatlán so we’ll go back there for a bit and then return to training camp after to prepare for fights. The sparring is much better in Los Angeles, I can concentrate better here, away from the distractions of home.”

The super middleweight division seems to be catching fire again lately, particularly with the likes of David Benavidez and Jose Uzcátegui making a name for themselves in the United States as well as the British contingent of 168lbs fighters. When asked about International Boxing Federation [IBF] champion James DeGale, Ramírez admitted that he sees some slippage in the Londoner.

“He seems to have dipped a little bit, he would be a good rival but I believe I have the skills to beat him and anyone else in my division. I want to show that I am the best at super middleweight. I saw his last fight, it was very close but I think he did deserve the win. I’d like to fight him, even go over to England if he wanted the fight. I’d love to fight in England and take his belt off him.

“I could also fight the winner of George Groves and Callum Smith from the tournament, but I think Callum Smith would be a more interesting fight. For me he’s the favourite to win the series and beat Groves. He’s tall like myself and he’s skilful so it would be a good fight against him too.”

The Mexican-based Venezuelan, José ‘Bolivita’ Uzcategui is another potential opponent for Ramirez. Indeed, he also trains at times in California, in the San Diego area.

“I have seen that Uzcátegui also trains in California, I have followed him a bit and I think soon he will be another opponent of mine. The division is good right now and there’s a lot of good fighters, I just want to show that I’m the best out of them and be a pound-for-pound fighter. I also know David Benavidez quite well, we’ve done some sparring together, we’ve been in the gym together and it would be a very competitive fight with him.”

Although we conducted the interview in Gilberto’s native Spanish, the 26-year-old has made huge strides in learning English and now regularly gives interviews on television in English, something he believes can help grow his fanbase.

“Speaking English opens you up to another type of market, I like communicating with people and they can appreciate and hear me with my own words. We’re in another country and English is the main language so why not speak it? It can only help you as a person too.”

By Ben Jacobs / Photo by Mikey Williams – Top Rank
https://www.boxingscene.com/gilberto-ramirez-backs-smith-over-groves-eyes-uzcategui-fight–128578

Abraham Eyes Stieglitz: He Would Have Beaten Groves!

WBO European champion Arthur Abraham (34-3, 27KOs) is ready for the challenge of facing full WBO king Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23KOs). BoxingScene.com reported on Wednesday that British boxer George Groves (14-0, 11KOs) was removed from the mandatory position – and the sanctioning organization approved Abraham (34-3, 27KOs) as the new mandatory challenger to Stieglitz.

Groves was scheduled to face Stieglitz (41-2, 23KOs) on May 5th in Germany. On Tuesday he withdrew with a nose injury. Stieglitz was given the option of making a voluntary defense on May 5, but then he has 90 days to fight Abraham.

Abraham wants the fight and he was confident his countryman would have defeated Groves.

“I think Stieglitz would beat Groves because he is a lot stronger. I want to [face] Stieglitz, because he also lives in Germany – and for German fans [the two of us fighting] for a world title will be very interesting,” Abraham said.

 

By Ruslan Chikov

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=51940

Groves is Injured, Withdraws From Stieglitz Title Fight

Super middleweight George Groves (14-0, 11KOs) has announced that he suffered an injury in training, which didn’t heal in time, and he’s been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight with WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23KOs), scheduled to take place on Sauerland Event’s big show on May 5th in Germany. Groves previously suffered an injury which forced him to withdraw from a rematch with Kenny Anderson a few weeks ago. The Anderson rematch is still on the ledger for June 30th.

The fight with Stieglitz was made after the WBO named Groves as the mandatory challenger to the super middleweight title. Anderson is the mandatory challenger to Groves’ British title.

“I am sorry to have to announce that I won’t be boxing on May 5th. I have picked up an injury in the build up to this fight. We tried to work through it but soon realized I wouldn’t be able to perform the training needed to prepare for this fight. After coming back to London immediately and seeking medical advice, I hope that this problem will be sorted soon and will only be a short delay,” Groves wrote.

“I am truly sorry to everyone involved who will be affected by this. This is without a doubt the toughest decision I have ever had to make, I am gutted but nothing worth having is given away. It has only made me more determined to achieve my goal of becoming world champion. Thanks to everyone again for their continued support in my journey.”

 

By Edward Chaykovsky

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=51848

Stieglitz vs Groves: SES Boxing Wins The Purse Bid

BoxingScene.com has been informed that SES Boxing, who promote WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23KOs), secured the rights to the mandatory defense against British titleholder George Groves (14-0, 11KOs). The WBO held a purse bid earlier today in Budapest, Hungary. Reportedly SES submitted “around $800,000.”

Stieglitz was scheduled to defend his title against Mikkel Kessler on April 14th in Coppenhagen, but BoxingScene broke the news earlier today that Kessler is still dealing with a right hand injury and withdrew from the contest . Kessler will return on May 19th against a new opponent.

Groves has a fight scheduled on Friday night in Wembley, as he faces dangerous puncher Kenny Anderson (15-1, 11KOs) in a rematch.

 

By Rick Reeno

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=50540

Groves galloping towards crack at WBO crown

British super-middleweight championGeorge Groves has been catapulted into the world-title picture, with the WBO ordering a purse bid for a fight against Robert Stieglitz.

Stieglitz, who holds the WBO crown at 12 stone, is a veteran of 29 more professional fights and would represent a significant step up in quality for Groves.

The organisation’s ruling has taken many by surprise, considering both participants are facing difficult assignments next: Stieglitz is scheduled to meet Mikkel Kessler on April 14, while Groves has a rematch with Kenny Anderson on March 16.

Kessler is a two-time world champion who can boast a victory over Carl Froch on his CV; Groves was floored by Anderson before recording a stoppage win when they first met in November 2010, on the undercard of David Haye v Audley Harrison.

In December 2011, Groves’ trainer Adam Booth suggested that his charge was not ready to go for one of the most lucrative honours in the division. “It frightens me how little he knows and how much he’s got to do,” Booth told West London Sport.

“I’ve got no problem stating what his weaknesses are at the moment. I’m telling everyone that if you fight George, look for him with the right because you’ll find him.”

The purse bid will take place in Hungary on March 12.

 

http://www.espn.co.uk/boxing/sport/story/139942.html

Degale: I’ll Play The Villain

James DeGale will continue playing the pantomime villain if it sells tickets, but insists the act fails to reflect his true personality.

DeGale’s feud with super-middleweight rival and former amateur stablemate George Groves rages on with the fighters both renewing hostilities on Thursday.

They met at a press conference called to announce that they will both appear on Frank Warren’s bill at ExCeL London on December 9, facing as-yet unnamed opponents.

Eventually they are expected to meet for a second time in a professional ring – Warren wants to make the fight as soon as possible – when DeGale will seek to avenge the points defeat he suffered in May.

Groves won the popularity contest as well as prevailing in the ring and has seen his profile grow since that night at the O2 Arena.

Aware that he will always be cast as the bad guy, DeGale insists Groves brings out the worst in him.

“Anyone who’s not a boxing fan thinks I’m arrogant and too big for my boots,” said the European champion, who will be challenging for the WBO intercontinental title on December 9.

“It hurts me a little bit because everyone who meets and knows me sees that I’m a genuine and humble boy.

“But boxing needs this. It needs the rivalry and the personalities. People see me on TV and say ‘look at him, he’s arrogant’.

“But as long as people keep buying the tickets it doesn’t matter.

“It’s the role I’ll have to continue playing, especially with Groves, because I’ve been made out to be the villain.

“I read a letter in a magazine saying that I’m a control freak, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was crazy.

“Sometimes part of me wants to go on a bit of a charm offensive. In my last fight I was humble and respectful.

“But with George…..I can’t do it.. He’s so smug and horrible. He winds me up.

“There’s real history there and it’s good for boxing. I feel confident around him, he doesn’t feel the same.

“You can feel the tension and it’s not coming from me, I’m cool with it.”

The enmity is based on personality as much as their rivalry in the ring.

The two are vastly different characters, DeGale noisy and self-assured yet affable in a way that is at odds with his public image, while the equally likeable Groves is more thoughtful and grounded, with a quick wit.

Groves believes their contrasting outlooks ensure friendship will always be impossible.

“I’m trying not to be the good guy. I reckon that if I went down the street kicking children I’d still be seen as the good guy!” he said.

“James is himself. You have to let him off the leash and be himself. Let people decide what sort of person he is.

“I just try to be myself, not a goody-two-shoes or a saint.

“I’m sarcastic and like to make fun of people and it’s easy to make fun of James DeGale.

“I don’t think we’ll ever be friends. He’s not my cup of tea. I don’t like who he is, the things he says, the way he acts.”

DeGale craves a rematch as early as possible, but Groves would rather wait to maximise the financial rewards.

“I want that cash cow (DeGale) to keep winning. He’ll be my pension fund one day,” said Groves.

“I got paid a reasonable amount for the first fight and I could get paid a life-changing amount for the second fight.”