BoxingFight Previews

“Zurdo” Ramirez Makes Golden Boy Debut, Friday – “Happy To Be With Golden Boy”

Date: Friday, July 9th, Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, Ca

Network & Time: DAZN, 6 PM PST – Ticket Info Here

For those who are gainfully employed, you might have to jump into this card in the middle of the action, as on the west coast, this card starts at 6 PM PST, undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, a former world champion at 168 lbs with five world title defenses, who left his promoter Top Rank recently, and signed with Golden Boy Promotions, will debut with the entity as his new promoter, fighting a veteran tough guy, Sullivan Barrera. Barrera, who has had a see-saw like, past couple of years, facing the best in the world, and losing his last bout to Jesse Hart, a man Ramirez beat twice, will definitely be a fight that defines both fighters trajectories for the near future in the light heavyweight division.

“The road to this fight has been exciting. I am happy to be working with Golden Boy Promotions,” said Ramirez on Wednesday’s press conference. “I am grateful for the opportunity. I want to give a great performance and show all my skills. I’m going to give the fans what they want: good fights!”

The card which features the following bouts on DAZN; undefeated lightweight Hector Tanajara Jr., a top U.S. amateur versus KO-mined William Zepeda, WBO light flyweight world champion Tenkai Tsunami versus Seniesa Estrada, Joseph Diaz Jr. versus Javier Fortuna for the vacant interim WBC lightweight world title that Ryan Garcia gave up, and the main event between Ramirez and Barrera.

For those unaware, Ramirez is trained and managed by the father-son duo of Jesus Zapari, and his son, Hector. Jesus, the father is the manager, while Hector is the head coach. Ramirez’s twenties came and went, and despite a solid following, and five defenses of his WBO super middleweight world title he gave up in April of 2019, when he moved to light heavyweight en route to stopping Tommy Karpency in four rounds, and served as Mexico’s first super middleweight world champion.

In July 2020, Ramirez left Top Rank Inc, as his contract was not renewed. Ramirez promoted one fight with Zurdo Promotions, in Galveston, Texas of last year, with heavyweight Michael Hunter being featured on the card. The card was on Fite.TV, and was seen only by the most hardcore of hardcore boxing fans, as Ramirez got a tenth-round KO over Alfonso Lopez.

Ramirez with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions behind him, will now look to embrace the Los Angeles market, in which Golden Boy Promotions has a stronghold over, with his first fight being no pushover, as it is Sullivan Barrera.

“I’m also very excited to be fighting here at Banc of California Stadium. I can’t wait to see all the people here, who are finally back to these kinds of events,” said Ramirez. “There will be a lot of Mexicans and Latinos coming here to support me, so I can’t wait to give them a great show.”

For those unfamiliar with Barrera, who holds wins over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, current WBO light heavyweight world champion Joe Smith Jr., Felix Valera, and Seanie Monaghan, Barrera is a stern test for any and all in the division, despite being 39-years-old. Conversely, Barrera’s losses though have been one-sided affairs as he lost his undefeated record to Andre Ward in Oakland, California, getting stopped in the tenth round by Dmitry Bivol, and losing to Jesse Hart, a mutual opponent of Ramirez, who Ramirez beat twice in hard-fought bouts, that some fight fans will look back upon fondly. A pessimist could look at this fight and say Barrera has been hand selected, because he is at the end of his career, and it is Barrera’s job to prove them wrong.

“Everyone knows what I have done in this division,” said Barrera. “My experience says a lot. I have some loses, but they were against very tough fighters. My experience will be a big factor.”

Barrera doesn’t give you much info about his camp via social media as it appears he has become a fan of riding his bike, and appears to have had a child beyond that. As far as a camp, I know Florida-based strength coach Phil Daru, worked with Barrera when Barrera was set to face Sergey Kovalev, prior to the bout being canceled due to COVID, as I interviewed him during the pandemic.

“I respect Zurdo Ramírez a lot. We have known each other for a long time,” said Barrera. “As he said, we know that each of us trains hard. We know that because we have trained together and sparred. But now is the time to put on a great show for all the fans.”

In a lot of words, I basically said, we don’t know what to expect from Barrera, other than he is tough, durable, and unconventional from the stereotype of the elusive, excessive moving associated with Cuban boxing, as Barrera is a come-forward fighter, with a solid punch.

This will be Ramirez’s third fight at 175 lbs, whereas Barrera has been a career light-heavyweight. For Ramirez beating a fighter the caliber of Barrera would prove he is worthy of being in the mix of the best in the division.

Per DraftKings, Ramirez is -1000 favorite, whereas Barrera is +525.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle