Among the many common interests shared by Oscar De La Hoya and Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez is the desire to make history together.
Ramirez saw De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions as the best fit to his career moving forward, as the former WBO super middleweight titlist aims to become a two-division title claimant. The first step comes July 9, when the unbeaten Mexican makes his Golden Boy debut in a light heavyweight bout versus Sullivan Barrera.
For his new promoter, the event is about more than laying the foundation for his second world title run.
“The long-term plan is to get him to 52-0, get him to break the record that Floyd Mayweather holds,” De La Hoya told host Adriana Jimenez during a virtual press conference to formally announce the event.
The mark to which De La Hoya refers is the final ring record of Mayweather, whose 50-0 mark (with 27 knockouts) has become the modern-day benchmark for perfection. Mayweather retired from the sport in 2017, having since endured two exhibition bouts not counting against his final ring ledger. To date, it’s the best unblemished record—no losses or draws—by any former or current world champion in history, with others enjoying longer win streaks before ultimately tasting defeat.
Ramirez (41-0, 27KOs) remains a long way off from accomplishing that goal, particularly given his iack of activity in recent years as he fought just twice since his final title fight at super middleweight in Dec. 2018. The 29-year-old southpaw still has time on his side, and a promoter willing to put in the work in order to raise his profile.
The WBO title reign enjoyed by Ramirez made him the first-ever Mexican to win a major super middleweight title.
The short-term goal is to get him to become just the third Mexican boxer to lay claim to a light heavyweight strap, joining Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and the late Julio Cesar Gonzalez before him. That is only one part of a journey Golden Boy hopes to extend through at least 10 fights and wins together.
“We want to get him to that undefeated record, break that record of 50-0,” notes De La Hoya, a Hall of Fame former six-division titlist who founded Golden Boy Promotions in 2002. “Then he will break another record. He was the first Mexican super middleweight champion ever. Now he can be the first fighter to break Floyd Mayweather’s record.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox