Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera is days away from the opportunity that he was waiting for. The Cuban boxer will face former world champion Gilberto "Zurdo'' Ramirez in Los Angeles on July 9 in a battle that could mark the end of his ring career or a new beginning, depending on outcome. DAZN will stream the event.
Beyond the dangers, for Barrera it is about ending a long period of inactivity.
He was scheduled to take part in a crossroads clash against former champion Sergey Kovalev. The fight was postponed on a couple of occasions before it fell through completely.
The Cuban, who lost in two of his last three fights to Jesse Hart and Dmitry Bivol, will look to turn back the clock.
Ramirez is coming off a TKO win in December over Alfonso Lopez.
Barrera is hoping that a big upset victory will lead to a world title shot at 175-pounds.
"We knew this opportunity could come. We know each other. When I was training in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez we did sparring sessions. He comes forward and that will make the fight more comfortable for me," Barrera told George Ebro.
"[The sport of boxing is] hard, but I still have that love, that interest and that desire to be world champion. In beating Ramirez I'm sure we'd go for a title fight. That remains the goal. After the COVID-19 thing, the fallout with the fight against Sergey Kovalev, I still stand my ground. The passion is still alive.
"I still feel strong, I look forward to [the fight with Ramirez]. There are more chapters ahead. I am proud of what I have achieved. I came [here] when I was 27, but my career developed beyond 30. I've made money, the world knows who Sullivan Barrera is. I couldn't be a world champion, but I'm proud.''