Undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez’ stock recently rose after his sensational fourth-round stoppage of world title challenger Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs), positioning the Mexican boxer for a world title shot in the light heavyweight division, and putting the three world champions on notice.
After notching his 42nd pro victory without a loss, “Zurdo” drew rave reviews for his impressive performance and all-around style, which showcased a punishing body attack, decking Barrera three different times.
Barrera had only been stopped in one other bout, at the hands of current WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, but the stoppage did not take pace until the twelfth round.
The 30-year Ramirez, who made his debut under the Golden Boy banner, is taking aim at the three reigning world light heavyweight champions: Bivol, Artur Beterbiev (WBC/IBF) and Joe Smith, Jr. (WBO).
“I knew I had to come out strong and make a statement,” Ramirez spoke about the Barrera fight. “Barrera is a tough, strong opponent who has fought the best. I had visioned all this in training camp and wanted to showcase my skills. Golden Boy did a great job promoting the show and I wanted to make sure I did my best job in the ring.
“I’ve always loved going to the body early. My team and I have worked on several areas including the improvement of my body shots that was evident during the fight. I’m at my best today! I’m comfortable at this weight and believe the combination of my new and improved power and ring experience makes me a dangerous fighter.”
Prior to Ramirez’ fight versus Barrera, Bivol (18-0 11 KOs) posted the following on social media: “@zurdoramirez, I’ve never avoided a challenge. Good luck to you in the fight against Barrera and after that let’s make it happen.”
“Zurdo” has a better shot at fighting Bivol this year than the other two world champions.
“Bivol is definitely one of my main targets,” Ramirez explained. “Both our teams have explored the fight and they know where to find me. After calling me out on the internet, I’ll be surprised if he retracts from his comments; it’s boxing and you can never be too confident until contracts are signed. He called me out on social media and his side knows I’m available. If it doesn’t happen, I’m sure he would have a good reason why, but, at the end of the day, I’m 100-percent for this fight and his team is fully aware of it.”
Ramirez couldn’t have been happier with his Golden Boy debut.
“It was exactly how I had envisioned,” Ramirez concluded. “Oscar (de la Hoya) and his entire staff were great and really made us feel comfortable throughout the process. It was a great show and I really enjoyed working our first of many shows together.”