Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario for his first fight under the Golden Boy Promotions banner.
Several options were discussed and postponed for the unbeaten former super middleweight titlist over the past few months before settling on a showdown with former light heavyweight title challenger Sullivan Barrera. The two will collide July 9 live on DAZN from Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. The event will take place at a time when venues in the state are once again allowing full capacity, which was not the case when Ramirez was previously eyeing a springtime ring return.
“It’s so exciting for me, it’s so special to make my debut with my Golden Boy family,” Ramirez said of his upcoming headliner during a recent virtual press conference to formally discuss the show. “It means a lot to be fighting here in Los Angeles. There are a lot of Mexican people, a lot of Latino people.
“I’m excited to be in the ring surrounded by a crowd. The venue will be fully open. I can feel the vibe from them.”
Mexico’s Ramirez (41-0, 27KOs) turned heads upon signing with Golden Boy earlier this year, coming weeks after headlining an independent Pay-Per-View event last December in Galveston, Texas. Ramirez took the fight—a 10th round stoppage of Alfonso Lopez—as means to shake off ring rust following a 20-month forced layoff in large part due to his eventual departure from Top Rank.
The move to Golden Boy was a no-brainer for the 29-year-old southpaw, who grew up idolizing Oscar De La Hoya, the Hall-of-Fame former six division champion and company founder. His intentions under the L.A.-based promotional banner is to essentially follow in the footsteps of his boxing hero, with designs on becoming a two-division champion by year’s end and rapidly working his way to 50-0 and beyond soon thereafter.
“My goal is to win the light heavyweight championship, to become a pound-for-pound champion like Oscar de la Hoya,” notes Ramirez. “He is my idol. I want the belts, I want to be the unified champion.
“I have the skills to become a pound-for-pound fighter. First, I have to take care of Barrera on July 9 and that’s it. I have to use my skills, my reach, and the power to get my 28th knockout and go to 42-0.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox