Cuban sensation Robeisy Ramirez has an eye on a future fight with Naoya Inoue.
Japanese star Inoue, nicknamed ‘The Monster’, is stepping up to super-bantamweight to challenge Stephen Fulton for the unified WBO and WBC titles, live on Sky Sports from 9.30am on Tuesday morning.
On the undercard at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Ramirez makes the first defence of his WBO featherweight title against Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu.
If both come through their respective championship bouts, Ramirez would welcome a future fight with Inoue.
“Of course, that would be a great fight and a great challenge both for him and for me as well. Everybody knows Inoue’s history and that would make a great fight should he eventually move up to 126lbs,” Ramirez told Sky Sports.
“I’m ready to fight the best and if he’s successful and that’s on the table, then definitely.”
Inoue has dazzled in his run through the sport, dominating Nonito Donaire, Emmanuel Rodriguez and more as he won championships at three weights, going undisputed at bantam in his last fight.
Ramirez is a special talent. He could go down as one of the great fighters to have lost their pro debut. The Cuban is a two-weight Olympic gold medallist, and although he suffered blip in his first professional bout when he lost to Adan Gonzales, he swiftly banished memories of that defeat, avenging the loss when he beat Gonzales in 2020 and blasting through top fighters as he rose through the levels.
Ramirez won the WBO championship in his last bout, beating Isaac Dogboe. His ambitions extend further still.
“It was an important fight [winning the title]. It was a first step in a journey I am confident will lead me to unify and eventually become undisputed champion at 126lbs,” Ramirez said.
“I’m looking forward to the biggest fights and the biggest names so that’s my focus right now. Whoever’s out there who has a claim to be one of the best at 126lbs I’ll be ready to fight.”
If Inoue continues his ascent, he could certainly factor into those plans.
“The history behind both of us as fighters, Inoue and I come with a baggage, of sorts, the history behind us, that would just add additional elements to make this a very interesting fight, were it to happen,” the Cuban reflected.
“I’m not looking too far into the future and too far ahead of myself. I’d much rather take things day by day so I try to focus more on the day to day and what I’m able to accomplish day to day … but I want to have the best career possible.”
He needs to focus on his next opponent. Shimizu won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, the Games in which Ramirez won his first gold medal when he was just 18 years old.
At those Olympics Shimizu made headlines when his highly contentious loss to Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidov was overturned on appeal. Shimizu beat Dogboe at London 2012 and would lose to GB’s Luke Campbell in the semi-final.
Shimizu is now 37 years old, but is boxing in front of a home crowd on Tuesday.
“Japanese fighters, they’re all warriors and leave it all out in the ring,” Ramirez said.
“I’m not sure how much he’s going to change or how that inspiration is going to help him fight the fight. As a matter of fact I think it could complicate things in the sense that that inspiration might lead him to make mistakes. So I’ll be ready for that.”
Ramirez has shown a vicious propensity to deliver knockouts. His style of boxing is aggressive. Last year he won every one of his bouts by stoppage. He promises to be ruthless if the chance to finish Shimizu presents itself.
“Of course,” he warned, “if the opportunity arises you can bet that I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Watch Fulton vs Inoue live on Sky Sports Main Event or Sky Sports Action from 9.30am on Tuesday morning