By Dan Ambrose: WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) says he cannot drop down in weight from 168 to fight IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at a lower weight in their planned fight for early next year. Ramirez, 24, and his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank say they cannot drop from 168 to fight Golovkin at a catch-weight.
Ramirez is already big for the super middleweight division, and asking him to move down further to accommodate a catch-weight for Golovkin is a non-starter.
Golovkin will likely be moving up to super middleweight permanently next year after he wins the last remaining title not in his possession with the WBO middleweight title. There’s nothing else for Golovkin at 160 other than Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and he can’t wait for the 25-year-old Mexican fighter to finally take the fight. Once the WBO belt is belong to Golovkin, he’ll very likely be moving up to super middleweight on a permanent basis to take on the best fighters in that weight class.
The good news for Golovkin is the top fighters in that weight class won’t be saying they need a catch-weight handicap to fight him just one pound inside the limit for the division at 161. There aren’t catch-weight specialists holding titles at the present time at super middleweight.
“He [Golovkin] says he can gain weight. I could not lose more than 168 pounds at this weight,” said Ramirez to ESPNdesportes.com. “I am willing to fight anyone. I’m ready to defend my title.”
Ramirez will be defending his WBO title for the first time next month against #11 WBO Dominik Britsch (32-2-1, 11 KOs) on July 23 on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s not a great opponent, but this is the type of challenger you get when you’re making a voluntary defense. It’s not surprising that Ramirez is fighting the German Britsch because he just finished winning the WBO title off another German fighter in Arthur Abraham.
Facing Britisch in his first defense would seem like a predictable move. If Ramirez can hold onto his WBO title for any length of time, he could face Abraham in a rematch. Abraham is saying he wants to win another world title at 168. It’s unclear whether he wants to fight Ramirez again or if he’s decided he wants to go in another direction.
Speaking about who would win a fight between Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Ramirez said, “It would be very difficult for both fighters, and I believe that the superiority in weight favor Golovkin if the fight will be agreed at the limit of 160 pounds.”
It looks like Ramirez doesn’t realize that Canelo is a little heavier than Golovkin. There would be superiority in weight for Golovkin is he’s weighing in at 170 after he rehydrates and Canelo comes in at 175. If you do the match correctly, Canelo weighs more than Golovkin by five pounds. Canelo wants to fight at catch-weights at 155lbs for some unknown reason. Canelo clearly doesn’t need to fight at a catch-weight of 155 if he’s rehydrating to 175.
There would be no weight advantage for Golovkin if the fight takes place at 160. He would rehydrate to around 170. With Canelo though, he might rehydrate to even more than 175 if the weight limit for the fight is at 160 rather than 155.
You have to figure that if Canelo is rehydrating to 175 after making weight at 155, then if he weighs in five pounds heavier at 160, then he could in theory rehydrate to 180. That would mean Canelo would have a 10 pound weight advantage over Golovkin.
Ramirez is a pretty decent fighter, but he looked bad on the few occasions last April where Abraham put pressure on him and backed him up. Ramirez was moving constantly in the fight and Abraham wasn’t putting pressure on him the way he needed to. He was moving slowly and letting Ramirez hit and move all night long. Golovkin would cut off the ring, back Ramirez up against the ropes, and nail him with heavy shots.
I think it’ll go badly for Ramirez if he chooses to run around the ring all night long. He’s going to have to take a stand because Golovkin will knock the air out of him by hitting him with stabbing body shots if Ramirez is going to run. It’s hard to tense up your midsection when you take a body shot while running.
Ramirez will have to stop and fight because if he doesn’t, he’ll get stopped with a body shot while in flight. Besides that, it’ll look bad for Ramirez if he’s going to run all night long against Golovkin, especially if he does a lot of bold talking ahead of time. Ramirez will need to back up his words by fighting bravely rather than putting on his track shoes and stinking up the joint by running from Triple G.