S&C coach Taylor Ramsdale gets a peek at Dimitri Bevol’s preparations as he faces Gilberto ‘Zordo’ Ramirez on Saturday.
Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN will host an exciting lightweight heavyweight match live from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. WBA champion Dmitri Bevol (20-0) will defend his title against Gilberto “Zordo” Ramirez (44-0) in a fight that could determine who will face unified champion Artur Petterbiev sometime in the near future.
With so much at stake, preparing for this fight is high on the list of most important things for Russia Bevol, and the person responsible for his strength and conditioning is Taylor Ramsdale. While coach since 2003, Ramsdale only contacted Bevol in the spring of 2017. They’ve worked together ever since, and their toughest test so far was in May against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the biggest name in the sport.
While Bivol was preparing Canelo, I checked in with him, and during that conversation, his confidence was fading from his pores. He was confident that his man Bevol would annoy Canelo and that it wouldn’t be a hard fight. Surely he wasn’t talking to Ramsdell now, there was a curiosity as to why the level of confidence was so high for this fight.
“We believe in ourselves. Seeing the competition and knowing what the team and Bivol can do. He’s a living legend. It was a chance to fight Canelo, which led to everyone seeing Dmitri Bevol and seeing what he could do. It was a great opportunity to get more eyes on him,” Ramsdale told FanSided. Going into it, I knew we were going to win. This isn’t false bone. This is just complete confidence. The only option I saw was Dmitriy winning. If he did his job, he’d win. As long as he does, I have absolutely no doubt that he will continue to win.” .
Dimitri Bevol vs Gilbert “Zordo” Ramirez will be broadcast live on DAZN on Saturday.
Riding high from the Battle of Canillo, Ramsdale came home briefly until he received a call that it was time to prepare the WBA champion Bevol for his next fight against Ramirez. But like everything else, the plans are flexible, and after some changes, the training camp began in Kyrgyzstan. After about three weeks there, the team considered returning to Indio, California, where their last camp was, but decided to do a month in Russia. Finally, last month was held in Abu Dhabi, where the fight will be hosted on Saturday night.
With all this navigating locations unfamiliar to Ramsdale, were there any challenges as a strength and conditioning coach? “The only challenge is to create what it needs to keep going. For example, when I went to Kyrgyzstan, I didn’t know what gym would be there. I bring some resistance bands everywhere I go, but it doesn’t matter what we have or what we don’t have; We get the work done. But of course, if there are more games in the gym, I like to use them (laughs). As long as we show up and want to give 100%, I as a coach and he is an athlete, it doesn’t matter what we have and what we don’t.”
Ramsdell also ensures that Bivol is eating all the right things to provide the body with the nutrients necessary to get it through those hard workouts. Is Ramsdale worried about the Bevol diet at all? “With Dmitriy, he generally eats very healthy food. He is light and compact, so he does not lose weight at all. As we get closer to the fight, he will eat less sweets (laughs) and eat smaller. Training is also modified in order to help with Weight. It’s not a big concern to us.” That’s good to hear, so we shouldn’t expect a gauge failure from Bivol to come on Friday afternoon.
While in foreign countries there is always concern about how you will be received, especially when you are with an athlete from a different country. Ramsdale rattled off about how he and the team were greeted at all the places they set up camp. In Abu Dhabi, Ramsdale said the welcome was genuine and everything was so great.
With all that said, what should we expect when his man Bevole steps into the ring with “Zordo” Ramirez? Ramsdale told FanSided, “Great fight and great performance. Every time he gets in the ring it’s another step towards being great all the time. Yes, it’s a challenge. Out of respect for Ramirez, he’s 44-0, the champ, and an even bigger guy. He has good compositions. And good strength. I just firmly believe that Bivol is better all around. I just see him (Bivol) with his hand up.”