Ramsay relishing hot streak
Trainer Marc Ramsay is in the midst of a punishing but exciting schedule right now - his charge Eleider Alvarez beat Lucian Bute on 24 February, David Lemieux faces Curtis Stevens this weekend and Artur Beterbiev's showdown with Sullivan Barrera looming. James Oddy caught up with him...
BM: How pleased were you with Alvarez's performance against Bute?
MR: I'm very satisfied with his performance. We worked very hard in order to obtain this victory. It's always a little more satisfying when it's a fight between two local boxers.
BM: What's the next step for him? How far can he go?
MR: After this victory, he has become a mandatory challenger for the WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. Of course it is a very big challenge but we believe that Eleider has the ability to accomplish his objectives.
BM: I’d argue Montreal is the best fight city in the world right now. What do you think has made it so popular for big fights and big fighters?
MR: I find this very funny coming from someone from England. In my point of view, British fans are the best and most loyal ones in the boxing world, but effectively Montreal is one of the best cities for boxing. We have a long history of famous fighters in this city and also have a history of hosting famous fights such as Leonard vs Duran. For the past few decades we've been developing a lot of high-quality fighters.
BM: How did you come up in Montreal and Canadian boxing?
MR: I started out as an amateur boxer but I was average. My personal trainer was very old and I slowly started to help him in his gym. When I was 16 I had already coached my first boxing match. It was very clear that I would be a more successful trainer than boxer.
BM: With three of your fighters involved in huge fights in the first part of 2017, how do you juggle all those commitments?
MR: With a lot of teamwork. I work with associates that are excessively competent like the reputable Russ Amber and young talented trainers like Luc Vincent-Ouellet and Samuel Decarie.
BM: David Lemieux vs Curtis Stevens has fight of the year written all over it. Does part of you want to see David resists the urge to get dragged into a war?
MR: As a trainer, I always prepare my athletes to be able to face all situations. It's good to be powerful and fast but the principal quality of a boxer is intelligence. Even though David has an aggressive style, he has always been able to follow instructions well.
BM: David seems like a nice guy and extremely professional. What’s he like to work with?
MR: Very simply he is always pleasant. David is a young man that is very concentrated on his work, never argues with a directive, always gives his best effort and tries to find a way to improve at every practice. It is a privilege to work with a man with those qualities.
BM: Artur Beterbiev seems like the next big thing at light heavy. How did he come to train with you?
MR: A Canadian agent named Adam Harris brought Artur to Canada a few years ago and introduced me to him. After having signed a contract with Groupe Yvon Michel, Arthur started his professional career here in Montreal and we have been associates ever since.
BM: What’s the plan for him over the next 18 months?
MR: He should fight Sullivan Barrera on 21 April in Miami for the position of mandatory challenger for the title of Andre Ward.
BM: Any tips for younger trainers starting out in the sport?
MR: Never count your work hours and always do what you need to do in order to gain success no matter what it is.