Archive for October, 2019

Trainer Marc Ramsay Breaks Down Beterbiev Victory

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

By William Trillo
Photo: “Sugar” Ray Bailey

Last weekend in Philadelphia IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KO’s) solidified his dominance in the 175 pound division with an impressive overpowering victory over WBC Champ Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KO’s). Once again the man directing Beterbiev to victory was Montreal trainer Marc Ramsay. In a battle of undefeated champions having a trainer with Ramsay’s experience can be the X-Factor, and on this night it was.

Almost immediately Ramsay saw that Gvozdyk’s early plan was to circle to his right trying to avoid Beterbiev’s vaunted power. After the first round Ramsay instructed Artur to cut off the ring to keep Gvozdyk from moving to his right. I asked Ramsay if that early tweak led to Beterbiev’s dominance. “A little bit,” stated Ramsay, “We had to adjust very fast on that one but it still took a couple of rounds for Artur to be able to start hurting him as he got closer.”

Once Beterbiev got closer he began to throw some wicked body shots that made a quick impact on Gvozdyk. He was visibly shaken, Arturs body work was fantastic. Although Beterbiev is a huge puncher and everything that lands is dangerous, I mentioned to Ramsay that I didn’t recall a night that he focused so clearly on the body. Ramsay revealed, “Actually we worked on this (the body attack) to make sure we had more than one option to put in play against them. And yes, that was one aspect we wanted to apply.”

As anyone who watched the fight saw, that body attack was the beginning of the end for Gvozdyk as he absorbed an inordinate amount of accurate body blows that were key in Beterbiev’s KO victory.

Looking at the judges’ scorecards after the fight many were more than surprised to find that Gvozdyk was actually ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards. I had to ask Ramsay if he was as surprised as I was when he saw those scores after the fight was stopped. “Yes and No”, Ramsay said, “The fight was close and as a trainer you have to manage those kinds of situations like your little bit behind. But when I watched the replay I saw Artur winning the majority of rounds.”

Last but certainly not least I had to ask Ramsay if he believes Artur can capture all the belts and are they looking to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion? Without hesitation Ramsay answered, “Yes I do…this is our target!”

With names like Champions Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev not to mention the recently retired Andre Ward who was sitting ringside for the fight the 175 pound ranks has the potential to be of boxings most exciting divisions. Whether or not anyone will want to face that human wrecking ball we saw unify the titles you can rest assured that Marc Ramsay will be there to draw up a game plan and direct his charge when the bell rings.

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McGirt Reveals Kovalev’s Secret Game Plan

Friday, October 18th, 2019

William Trillo

It’s not often that a boxer or his trainer will show their hand before a big fight, but on a recent conference call with Sergey Kovalev his trainer Buddy McGirt let the proverbial cat out of the bag when discussing how they will deal with the expected body attack from Canelo Alvarez.

To everyone’s surprise McGirt stated, “I mean, it’s obvious that’s his (Canelo’s) game plan, because that’s one of his biggest tools, is body punching. And for the record, nobody likes to get hit in the body. I don’t give a shit who you are. What we did was we ordered these XXXL shorts for Sergey and we are going to pull the shorts up to his chest and then we’ll be okay.”

Everyone on the call got a good chuckle out of that with the exception of the rotund journalist who was trying to make a point that is really no big secret. Buddy then quipped, “The question is what’s going to happen when Canelo gets hit to the body?”

After the obviously tongue in cheek answer McGirt took on a serious demeanor when he remarked, “The main thing is to avoid those type of instances where we get in there and let Canelo feel comfortable. No matter what he tries to do, the key is to make him uncomfortable in anything that he tries to do. That only happened to him one time, and that was in the Mayweather fight. Mayweather made him uncomfortable and he really couldn’t get in his groove. After that, he became a better fighter and he was able to dominate everybody.”

When the subject of Kovalev’s piston like jab came up, and how much emphasis would be placed on it during training camp McGirt quipped, “Funny thing is since the Alvarez rematch I’ve never had to remind Sergey again about the jab.”

McGirt went on to explain that on occasion it is actually Kovalev himself who comes up with different strategies and brilliant new ideas. Buddy noted, “Sometimes when we’re in the gym Sergey comes to me with ideas, and they make sense. Like Sergey has said, he got away from what he did best in the amateurs. He showed me a video of the amateurs and I’m like, ‘What happened to this guy?’ He goes, ‘Well, when I started knocking people, I got away from it.’ I’m like, ‘We’ve got to get back to this.’ He goes, ‘But I’m the Krusher.’ I said, ‘Well, now you’re going to be Smart Krusher! That’s what I say, people underestimate his boxing IQ because he’s always knocked everybody out. He’s smarter than people give him credit for.”

“The camp is great because everybody gets along. Everybody trusts everybody. We have a relaxed mood and we know what we have to do, so it makes for a good camp”, stated McGirt. “As far as if we win, the statement should be when we win, because I believe in my heart that Sergey is going to win this. It’s not going to be as hard as people think. As far as myself, it’s not about me right now. It’s about Sergey making history. It’s not about me. It’s about Sergey.”

In wrapping things up the newly inducted Hall of Famer exudes a confidence that comes not only from his years of experience in the ring but also from someone who has been one of the staples in boxing corners for many years. McGirt didn’t hesitate when he announced, “Listen, I’m excited about the fight. I just think that they picked the wrong veteran to mess with when they picked Sergey. They should have found somebody else. The world will see on November 2nd that Sergey Kovalev is the real deal.”

Make no mistake about it, Buddy McGirt is brimming with confidence and likes Kovalev’s chances in this interesting challenge that Canelo has presented. This is one of the most intriguing fights to come to Las Vegas in quite some time.

Can Canelo overcome the size difference Kovalev will pose? Can Kovalev survive the expected vicious body attack? Will Sergey be wearing those XXXL Shorts? The answer to these and many more questions will be answered when the calendar turns its page to November.

Canelo vs. Kovalev is a 12-round fight for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title presented by Golden Boy, Main Events and Krusher Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and Brand-New Grapefruit Crush, Knockout Flavor. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN. The title clash is one of several highlights this fight season on DAZN – an entire fall featuring boxing’s biggest matchups in one of the best schedules in boxing history.

Tickets for Canelo vs. Kovalev are on sale and are priced at $1,754, $1,254, $854, $654, $404 and $204, not including applicable service charges and taxes. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at

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