By Chris Williams: Top Rank promotions took a big hit on Wednesday with their unbeaten fighter Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) suffering a hand injury while training. The injury was bad enough for the 25-year-old Ramirez to be pulled from the July 23 fight card, where he was supposed to be defending his WBO super middleweight title against #10 WBO Dominik Britsch (32-2-1, 11 KOs) on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Ramirez vs. Britsch fight was supposed to have been the chief support for the Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol fight.
“THIS JUST IN: Ramire Zurdo just suffered a hand injury in training and is unable to fight July 23rd on the Crawford-Postol card,” said Top Rank in a Tweet.
With the Ramirez-Britisch fight now off the Crawford-Postol card, it leaves a big hole that Top Rank will need to try and fill with what little time there is remaining. There’s only 17 days for Top Rank to find a good Plan-B option for the co-feature. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has said in the past that boxing fans don’t purchase PPV cards based on the undercards. Well this will be a good test of that theory. I think Arum is plain wrong.
I think boxing fans do purchase PPV cards based on the undercard, especially when the main event has two guys that don’t rate as PPV attractions like Crawford and Postol. Let’s be real; those guys aren’t pay-per-view fighters. Postol is only known to the hardcore boxing fans in the U.S, and the same with Crawford.
I know Arum is really high on the counter-punching Crawford, but he’s someone that is mainly just well-known to the hardcore boxing fans and his fans in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. That’s a city with a population of 434,000. It’s not even close to the size of Los Angeles, California, with their population of 3,884 million. It’s too bad Crawford isn’t from Los Angeles.
The Ramirez vs. Britsch fight was a mismatch anyway. With all the talking that Ramirez has done lately, it was troubling to see him fighting a fringe contender like Britisch rather than one of the top contenders in the division. After all, Ramirez was on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s case recently for him not fighting Gennady Golovkin. Ramirez then turns around and signs for a fight against a little known fringe contender in Britisch. The fight made absolutely no sense, and I don’t think it added much value to the Crawford vs. Postol card in terms of a competitive match. Ramirez’s name obviously helped the card because he’s got a fairly big fan base, but his fight with Britisch would have been a horrible mismatch.