Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez is now within one win of becoming a two-division champion.
The unbeaten former WBO super middleweight titlist secured the mandatory contender position in the WBA light heavyweight rankings following a one-sided, fourth-round knockout of Germany’s Dominic Boesel. Ramirez floored Boesel to force an immediate stoppage at 1:33 of round four Saturday evening on DAZN from Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Ramirez has long ago insisted that he was meant to compete at light heavyweight, though still a pit stop in his quest to eventually become a four-division champion (five, counting Bridgerweight which he plans to win one day). The proof was in his same-day weight, as Ramirez—a 6’2 ½ southpaw from Mazatlan, Mexico who weighed 174.8 at Friday’s official weigh-in—replenished all the way to 204 pounds upon arriving on site.
The massive size difference aside, the gap in talent was evident from the opening bell. The fight jumped off to an awkward start, as Boesel turned away in pain after getting clipped on the elbow. Referee Thomas Taylor warned the visiting German light heavyweight to protect himself, with action resuming soon thereafter. Ramirez controlled the action for the balance of the round, largely on the strength of his uppercut which repeatedly pushed through Boesel’s high guard. Boesel was twice warned for excessive holding.
Ramirez cornered Boesel in round two, connecting with a right hook to the body after enjoying continued success with the uppercut. Boesel managed a combination, neither punch inflicting any damage but effective enough to get off the ropes. Ramirez landed a straight left hand late in the round after missing with a left and a right hook.
Head trainer Julian Chua instructed Ramirez to offer more angles and target the body, in lieu of expending energy by headhunting. Ramirez heeded the advice, doubling over Boesel just before the final minute of the round with a digging left hand downstairs. Boesel threw up the earmuffs as Ramirez unloaded in the closing seconds, making it to the bell but already bearing the look of a defeated fighter.
Time was called in between rounds, as Boesel was paid a visit by the referee and the ringside physician. Both seemed to agree that the fight was becoming dangerously close to being stopped.
Ramirez took care of that problem. Boesel was once again under siege courtesy of a barrage of body punches. Ramirez closed the show with a series of left hands, followed by a right hook to the body that forced Boesel to a knee. No count was necessary as the fight was immediately stopped.
Boesel snaps a modest two-fight win streak in falling to 32-3 (12KOs), coming up miserably short in his U.S. debut.
Ramirez advances to 44-0 (30KOs), now a perfect 5-0 with five knockouts since moving up to light heavyweight in 2019. The unbeaten Mexican southpaw becomes the mandatory challenger to current WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs) with the win.
“Everyone knows I want Dmitry Bivol next,” Ramirez insisted after the win. “Stop running. Stop running and sign the contract.”
Bivol is coming off a twelve-round, unanimous decision victory over four-division champ Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) one week ago at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez moved up in weight for the fight, which also comes with a rematch clause in the event the Mexican superstar opts to run it back in lieu of returning to his undisputed super middleweight championship reign.
Absent a sequel, Bivol could be pressed by the WBA to honor his mandatory which Ramirez and Golden Boy Promotions fully plan to have enforced in the coming weeks.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox