A loss in his pro debut will forever serve as a reminder to Robeisy Ramirez of what can go wrong on any given night.

The two-time Olympic Gold medalist doesn’t necessarily cling to that August 2019 night but it serves as a permanent source of inspiration to remain focused on the task at hand. It’s motivation enough to provide his undivided attention to former junior featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe ahead of their vacant WBO featherweight title fight this weekend.

Ramirez (11-1, 7KOs) is a heavy betting favorite to prevail in the ESPN+ main event this Saturday from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A win will leave the Cuban southpaw in a favorable position within the constant changing of the guard at featherweight—though any talk of bringing stability to the top level begins with his performance on Saturday.  

“The first thing that comes to mind is that I have this great fight to win the title and the potential to face strong opposition in title unifications,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com, emphasizing the importance of first beating Dogboe. “The titles keep changing hands but we’re getting a lot of good matchups and I’m happy to be a part of this movement.”

The WBO featherweight title at stake was previously held by Emanuel Navarrete, who relinquished the crown a few days after winning the WBO junior lightweight title in early February. Just nine days after Navarrete severed ties with the division, Leigh Wood—who gained full recognition as the sole WBA featherweight titlist last December—suffered a seventh-round knockout to Mauricio ‘Bronco’ Lara on February 18 in his Nottingham hometown.

Wood’s setback came two months after countryman Josh Warrington saw his second IBF title reign end with a narrow defeat to Mexico’s Luis Alberto Lopez last December in his Leeds hometown.

Meanwhile, Rey Vargas has yet to defend the WBC featherweight title he claimed just last July 9 in a points win over Philippines’ Mark Magsayo, who outpointed Gary Russell Jr. last January 26 to win the belt.

Lara is eyeing a springtime title defense later this spring. It will either be a second fight with Wood—who has a rematch clause that he plans to activate—or a third fight with Warrington, whom he defeated via technical knockout and also fought to a technical draw in their two-fight set in 2021.

Lopez will attempt the first defense of the IBF title versus Michael Conlan on May 27 in the challenger’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Vargas is expected to be ordered to next defend versus interim WBC featherweight titlist Brandon Figueroa.

It doesn’t leave much room for Saturday’s winner to further unify or even distance himself from the rest of the pack. It does, however, at least place said victor in the conversation.

“Any of the reigning champs would make a great fight,” noted Ramirez, who has won eleven straight since his lone defeat in his pro debut. “I am confident in my abilities and would be comfortable fighting any of them.”

Ramirez scored three knockout wins in 2022 and is listed by bet365 sportsbook as a healthy -700 favorite to become the featherweight division’s next major titleholder.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox