Loeffler: Top Rank interested in Gilberto Ramirez vs. Golovkin in 2016
By Dan Ambrose: IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler said on Thursday in his press conference that Top Rank promotions reached out to him about matching Golovkin against their highly hyped unbeaten fighter Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) this year.
Ramirez, 24, captured the WBO super middleweight title last Saturday in beating champion Arthur Abraham by a 12 round unanimous decision on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley 3 card on HBO PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Loeffler says Top Rank has reached out about a possible Gilberto Ramirez-GGG fight later this year. #boxing #GolivkinWade,” said Dan Rafael.
Loeffler said recently that Ramirez is the Plan-C option if he can’t get Plan-A opponent Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Plan-B option Billy Joe Saunders to agree to fight Golovkin. Those two fighters have middleweight titles that Golovkin wants to win. However, Canelo and Saunders haven’t appeared eager to get inside the ring with Golovkin, and it’s quite possible that neither of those fighters will agree to fight him this year. They likely will fight Golovkin at some point in the future, but it might not be in 2016. In that case, Ramirez might be the best option for Golovkin if he’s agreeable to moving up to 168 for a single fight against the 6’2” Mexican fighter Ramirez.
It might prove to be a more difficult fight for Golovkin than fights against Canelo or Saunders, because Ramirez looks more like a melted down light heavyweight than a true super middleweight. Besides his height and reach, Ramirez likes to move a great deal, and it might turn out to be a real marathon if Golovkin faces him.
Loeffler didn’t say whether he’ll have Golovkin move up in weight to 168 for the Ramirez fight or try and get a catch-weight at 164 to make it easier for Golovkin.
Golovkin would need to chase Ramirez around the ring, and deal with his constant changes of direction and his long arms. Golovkin would need to deal with Ramirez’s high work rate as well. He throws a lot of mostly arm punches that keeps his opponents busy. Ramirez isn’t a real big puncher. It’s his constant punches that makes it hard for his opponents when they do get close enough to throw their punches.
Ramirez’s promoter Bob Arum fancies his fighter’s chance of beating Golovkin. It’s more likely that Arum is hoping that Ramirez will be transformed into a bigger name for his Top Rank stable just for having fought Golovkin. Even if Ramirez loses to Golovkin, he’ll become a known fighter from having faced him. As long as Ramirez doesn’t get blasted out in the same way that Marco Antonio Rubio was against Golovkin, he should come out of the fight with him looking good regardless of the outcome.
This is a real roll of the dice for the 84-year-old Arum, because of Golovkin blasts Ramirez out, he’s going to have a tainted fighter on his hands. But at Arum’s age, he kind of needs to take risks with his fighters, because he doesn’t have a lot of time to wait for them to slowly become big names to fill in the revenue stream that Arum lost with Manny Pacquiao’s recent retirement from the sport.
If Ramirez can pull off an upset of Golovkin this year, then Arum could have another Canelo Alvarez PPV attraction that he can have as his new star for his Top Rank stable. Ramirez has quickly learned a fair amount of English and he’s definitely a potential star for Arum and Top Rank if he can get him a fight against Golovkin.
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