Undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs), the first Mexican boxer to capture the World super middleweight title, is now the World light heavyweight champion in waiting. “Zurdo” is currently rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 5 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
After Ramirez’ recent knockout victory over Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs), it appeared that the boxing stars had aligned and “Zurdo” would challenge WBA Super World Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol later this year. It still may happen, however, Bivol offered to replace Caleb Plant next month against WBA and WBC Super Middleweight Champion “Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) at either super middleweight or light heavyweight.
The 30-year Ramirez understands why Bivol would challenge “Canelo,” and he still welcomes a fight against Bivol, or either of the other World light heavyweight title holders, Artur Beterbiev (WBC/IBF) and Joe Smith, Jr. (WBO), scheduled to fight each other in a unification match this year.
“People may say he is avoiding me by chasing the ‘Canelo’ fight,” Ramirez commented, “but I hope he gets it. Everyone knows ‘Canelo’ is the lottery ticket. At the moment I can’t hate on him (Bivol) for taking his shot. But, if the fight doesn’t happen, he and his team know I’m available and there won’t be any other fight or excuse to avoid me. I’m open to fighting any of the World champions in the light heavyweight division. I’ve always said I’m the best in the division and there’s no one I wouldn’t fight for the title assuming all the other variables align.”
“Zurdo” never really gets out of shape. He’s back home in Mazatlán (Mexico) running, doing yoga, golfing, and doing a little bit of boxing.
“As I get closer to my fight news,” Ramirez remarked, “I’ll start my pre-camp to make sure I’m at my target weight before even entering training camp. It’s not like my teenage years, so I need to make sure everything is precise and on track before camp.”
For his most recent fight versus Barrera, Ramirez trained at his ultramodern Brickhouse Boxing Club in North Hollywood, California, in which “Zurdo” is a member of the 3PM Group ownership. Ramirez reports the gym is running smoothly and that he’s happy it’s a community space where a lot of professional athletes train such as fighters David Benavidez, Gerald Washington, Cem Kilic and John “Scrappy” Ramirez (no relations), as well as UFC fighters TJ Dillashaw, Giga Chikadze and Marvin Vettori, among the more notables.
“I’ve known Bivol from before (they sparred) and he’s a tough fighter with a warrior mentality,” Ramirez concluded. “I just hope he’s not just a talker and doesn’t retract from calling me out publicly on social media and announcing it to the world. Everyone knows it’s an easy fight to make (Ramirez and Bivol have fought on DAZN). I know nothing on my side (Team Zurdo & his promoter Golden Boy) is holding it back from making it happen.”