Venezuelan light heavyweight contender Albert Ramirez has credited his meeting with Artur Beterbiev for changing the direction of his career. 

Ramirez (18-0, 15 KOs) takes on former world title challenger Adam Deines next month in Shawinigan, Canada. Coincidently, it was when Beterbiev faced the German three years ago in Moscow when Ramirez was drafted in for sparring. 

Beterbiev’s undisputed matchup with fellow Russian Dmitrii Bivol was formally announced on Monday in London for June 1 with Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as the location. 

“For me it is a 50-50 fight on paper,” Ramirez said in an exclusive interview for BoxingScene. “I know how Artur trains personally, and I’ve heard Bivol is always doing good training. But if I do have to put money on the fight, I will have to say that Artur will win by knockout. I won’t be surprised if it does go 12 rounds though. 

“Artur has three belts and Bivol only one, so the unification will be very interesting to see who the better man is. Hopefully I will get to challenge them after.”

Ramirez is ranked in at least 8th place by all four governing bodies, in 2nd place for Bivol’s WBO belt. The Rio Olympian credits his time in Russia for kick-starting his career. 

“I had a great time with Artur in his camp,” Ramirez added. “I ended up signing with Eye of the Tiger because of it. It was a great opportunity and a turning point for me. I learnt a lot from watching him everyday, I learnt from sparring him. Even if I wasn’t sparring him, I would go to the gym to work out and watch.

“It will be nice to see him finally fight Bivol because it will help move the division. I’m ready to face any boxer for a title now. I’m ready to take one of those belts after they fight.”

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