Robeisy Ramirez: “This result was important for me”

The start of September saw the Clash of Champions World Series of Boxing (WSB) Exhibition between Season IV Champions Cuba Domadores, and Season III Champions Astana Arlans Kazakhstan. In the second bout of the night, a 56 kg superstar returned to the world of WSB, a 20 year old Cuban named Robeisy Ramirez who not only fought against Kazakh veteran Bagdad Alimbekov, but he also fought with the pressure of returning to one of the strongest teams in the world.

During the walk between the locker room and the ring, Ramirez’s face reflected the tension, but his eyes remained fixed, concentrating deeply on the hard work to come.

Despite his youth, the Cienfueguero is definitely not a rookie. He can boast already of a medal record that 99% of boxers n
ever manage to achieve throughout their entire careers. A Junior World Champion in Baku 2010, and gold in the Singapore Youth Olympic Games that same year, gold in the Panamerican games in Guadalajara 2011 and, most impressively, Olympic Champion in London 2012 aged just 18 years old. His unbelievable career saw him showcased as one of the faces of the new WSB Team for Season IV, Cuba Domadores.

Despite his reputation as one of the best boxers in the world, and even after winning his first two WSB matches against the Mexican Brian Gonzalez and the Azeri Magomed Gurbanov, the Cuban Boxing Federation excluded him from the team as a technical decision based on his physical shape. Despite his absence, the Domadores won Season IV, but they perhaps could have done so even more comfortably if one of their biggest stars was present for the entire season.

In his Astana return, Ramirez was the star he had always been, winning every minute of the fight against Alimbekov. He controlled the rhythm of the fight from the very start, and the Cuban bantamweight showed that the pressure isn’t a problem for him.

After that impressive return, we talked with Ramirez about his impression of the fight, and his hopes for WSB Season V.

Firstly Robeisy, congratulations on your return to WSB, and Cuba Domadores and for your excellent match in Astana. What did you think about the Clash of Champions?

We always said that the match will be hard, because Kazakhstan was the Champion in the WSB Season III and it is a country with a strong tradition. Despite this, we didn’t arrive at our best competitive shape, because we had a one month holiday without training, and all of this was reflected in the ring.

In my case, I was able to win against a difficult opponent and this result was important for me because I hadn’t fought internationally for a long time, although I never stopped training with the team. It was like a reencounter with the first level.

How did you feel in your fight? Are you in your best physical shape or do we have to wait to watch the best Robeisy?

The fight was the design of my coach Raúl Fernández. Doing the work every round was hard because I wasn’t at my best physical shape.

We improved the rhythm at deliberate moments and I felt good that I could neutralize an opponent who gave his all. I mixed punches, movement and defense. I am very happy and motivated for the next meeting, especially the Panamerican and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico, in November. I think that I showed that there is still more to come from me.

How did you like WSB Season IV? Was hard for you not to participate in the Cuba Domadores win?

All the team entered WSB Season IV with a lot of enthusiasm, and for me was important to participate too. It was our debut in an event with five rounds and with different requirements.

I gave my all every time that I was in the ring, and though I was sorry about not being involved in the final stage of the season, I kept supporting all my teammates and I enjoyed Cuba Domadore’s victory in our debut season.

The Olympic Games aren’t so far away. Cuba has had twice Olympic Champions before, and this is one of my dreams

Are there any boxers who draw your attention out of Cuba in WSB?

Really there are a lot of high level boxers, including some who I have fought against, but I am always inspired by the biggest boxers of my country.

What do you want from the upcoming Season V?

The WSB Season V will be more difficult because it gives access to Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the winner in each Group will directly get his place in the Semifinals. Logically, after our victory all our opponents will be more interested to defeat Cuba.

We will enter Season V with the same will to win, and we will not underestimate any opponent and we want to keep the support of our fans that were fantastic last year. My objective is to keep in the team all the time, and to do my best for them.

Is the defence of your Olympic crown already in your head? What do you think about Rio 2016?

The Olympic Games aren’t so far away, especially considering that WSB Season V will start in January and it gives access to Rio. This means that my objective to become twice Olympic Champion will start in early 2015. I know that I need keep at a level which permits me to be the principal boxer of my team in my weight. Cuba has had twice Olympic Champions before, and this is one of my dreams.

How do you see your teammates for the next Season? And how do you see Veitia after his weight change and his first defeat in WSB?

The team is now more mature with the experience that we gained after winning last year, and the team has the enthusiasm which permitted us to win the Season IV too.

Now we will count on some younger boxer at the high level, including the boxers who fought in the Youth World Championships and the Youth Olympic Games.

Veitia has had problems to keep at 49 kg, and his weight for the new Season still hasn’t been determined. If he will fight at 52 kg, he needs time to get used to the new weight, but he is an athlete with a lot of quality and mastery.


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