By Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated #1 WBC Callum Smith (20-0, 15 KOs) is targeting WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) as someone he would like to fight in the future. Smith, 6’3”, has a great deal of respect for the talented 6’2 ½” Ramirez, and he feels that he’s going to be around for a long time as a top fighter.
Ramirez is only 24-years-old and already a world champion after whipping Arthur Abraham by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision last April to capture the WBO super middleweight title from the German fighter. Ramirez will be making his first defense of his WBO strap next month on July 23 against #11 WBO fringe contender Dominik Britsch (32-2-1, 11 KOs) on HBO pay-per-view on the Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ramirez is expected to make easy work of the 28-year-old German Britsch.
“Gilberto Ramirez is a good fighter who is up and coming. He’s 6ft 2in and a southpaw who likes to fight inside a lot, which is unusual for someone so tall,” said the 26-year-old Smith to skysports.com. “As long as I can keep winning and pick up a world title, then there’s no reason he and I can’t meet in the future. He’s definitely one of the best at 168lbs already.”
Ramirez is a much better fighter than Smith in my opinion. The stuff Smith is doing in the ring is kid’s stuff compared to Ramirez, who is a much more advanced fighter. Ramirez is capable of moving around the ring, boxing on the outside, and fighting on the inside as well. Ramirez can turn into a power puncher with the snap of his finders, and he’s lethal on the inside with his body punching. I think Ramirez is next level talent.
I think Smith is a one-dimensional version of Ramirez once you take away the Mexican talent’s mobility, outside fighting skills and defensive ability. When you strip all that away from Ramirez, then you get Callum Smith. That’s not necessarily a bad thing to be a stripped down version of Ramirez. At least Smith has some good features from Ramirez’s game. However, I don’t think Smith would have any chance of beating Ramirez in this lifetime.
The only way I could see Smith beating Ramirez is if the Mexican talent suddenly got amnesia and forgot how to fight overnight. Under those conditions, I think Smith beats Ramirez, but not with him being such an advanced fighter. I think Smith needs to study Ramirez’s fights and try to somehow ape him in the ring. Maybe if Smith can copy what Ramirez is doing, he’ll improve enough to beat the winner of the Badou Jack vs. James DeGale fight.
It sounds good that the 6’3” Smith wants to fight the talented Ramirez, but there’s just one problem. Smith is likely going to lose when he eventually faces the winner of the Badou Jack vs. James DeGale fight. That fight is supposed to take place at the end of the summer. Smith is the WBC 168lb mandatory challenger to WBC champion Badou. The winner of that fight will need to fight Smith if they want to keep the WBC strap. I don’t see the Jack-DeGale winner losing any sleep over fighting Smith, because he’s very hittable and not someone that has the game to beat DeGale or Badou in my view.
Smith struggled badly to win his last fight against little known 2nd tier fighter Cesar Hernan Reynoso on May 29 last month on the undercard of the Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu fight at Goodison Park in Liverpool, UK. Smith finally got around to scoring a stoppage over Reynoso in the 6th round, but not before he’d been nailed many times and exposed by the Argentinian Reynoso. I mean, Reynoso deserves some credit for being a better fighter than many boxing fans thought he would be, but there’s getting away from the fact that Smith was gawd awful in that fight. That was just a terrible performance from Smith, who looked like a big stork as he kept walking into shot after shot from Reynoso.
The only thing that continually bailed Smith out was his punching power and the fact that Reynoso was there for him to hit. Smith knocked Reynoso down three times in the fight in dropping him once in round one, round four and round five. I knew Smith had flaws going into that fight, but I didn’t know he had that many flaws. It was kind of sad to see. When you get a hyped up fighter like Smith, it’s always a shock when you them brought down to earth to be shown to be human after all. Smith proved to be very human in the Reynoso fight, that’s for sure.
“We saw how good he is against Arthur Abraham – Ramirez won it convincingly and he’s only young so he’s here to stay for a while,” said Smith about Ramirez. “We’re both relatively young whereas Jack is 32 and DeGale is 30. Providing we both keep winning, Ramirez and I can both win world titles and clash in the future.”