By Dan Ambrose: WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) feels pretty certain that he’ll be fighting unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) at the end of this year or at the start of next year, but he doesn’t believe he’ll ever face Canelo. Ramirez, 25, has to get past his opponent Max Bursak (34-4-1, 15 KOs) this Saturday night in their fight on the undercard of the featherweight match between WBO champion Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Ramirez says that Golovkin wants the fight with him, and he wants to face him. Ramirez says he thinks he can beat Golovkin. As for Canelo Alvarez, the 6’2” Ramirez says that fight won’t ever because he’s too big for the popular Mexican star. Ramirez would like to fight Canelo, but it would need to be at the full weight for the super middleweight division at 168, because he’s too tall to melt down to 160 or 164 ½ lbs. to take that fight.
Ramirez isn’t too worried about Golovkin’s punching power because he thinks that anyone can punch in boxing.
“Make it happen for sure, because he wants to fight with me and I want to fight with him,” said Ramirez to Fighthub.com about a fight against Gennady Golovkin. “That fights going to happen, maybe until the end of this year or the beginning of next year. For sure, I’m looking for that fight and I want to be pound-for-pound for myself. I need to keep winning and win the good fights. He has power, but I think all fighters have power, and any fighter can hurt anyone in the ring, but that’s why we want to fight. We know we can win, and show people that no one is invincible; everything is possible in his life. But first I have this fight on April 22, and run over Max Bursak and see what’s up for the future,” said Ramirez about his fight this Saturday night against Bursak.
Golovkin, 35, is still waiting on a fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez. Triple G is obviously not going to budge from the 160lb division until after he’s gotten at least one fight with the Mexican star Canelo, depending on whether Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy are interested in making the fight in 2017. Ramirez could end up waiting on a fight with GGG until 2018 or later. It’s all pretty much up to Golden Boy and Canelo. Golovkin wants Canelo and he wants a chance to win the last remaining middleweight title not in his possession. If Golovkin loses to Canelo, then there’s no reason for him to remain at 160. He can move up to 168 and see if he can turn his career around in that weight class. You can be sure fighters like Daniel Jacobs may follow GGG to try and get a rematch with him. Golovkin beat Jacobs by a contested 12 round unanimous decision on March 18 last month on HBO PPV. Jacobs believe he won the fight, and he’d like a rematch. Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler have put the Jacobs rematch on hold for now while they attempt to negotiate a big money fight against Canelo.
“Well, my hand is much better and I don’t feel any pain,” said Ramirez about his surgically repaired right hand. “Two fights back, I hurt it and for a long time I had pain in my hand. I feel much stronger and confident in my hand. In this fight, I’m very excited, because it’s been a years since I was last in the ring. People were forgetting me. I return now with my hunger to defend my title and give a great show. It was depressing for me. I felt sad about it because I was inactive all the time for 3-4 months, I couldn’t do anything. I felt like I was in jail at the house, because I couldn’t go out and do anything but resting. But with time, I felt better. Now I’m back on track and very happy because of that. They are going to see an explosive fight, a very great card with Mexicans, 3 very good fights, and I expect to give my best. I’m very well prepared to go after my opponent in every round, and win whether by decision or knockout, but win and keep my title. It’s going to be an excellent fight,” said Ramirez about his fight this Saturday night against 32-year-old Max Bursak.
This is a fight that Ramirez will do really well in. Bursak isn’t short at 6’0”, but he’s still 2” inches shorter than the 6’2” Ramirez, and he’s giving up 4” inches in reach. Bursak’s career hasn’t been doing too well as of late with him losing 3 out of his last 7 fights to Zac Dunn, Martin Murray and Jarrod Fletcher. Those were clear cut defeats. Ramirez’s promoters at Top Rank likely picked out Bursak as a tune-up level fight to ease him back into competition again after missing 1-year because of his hand injury. It wouldn’t be a good idea for Ramirez to get back into the ring and start facing high caliber opposition right away. He needs to be brought back slowly.
“Three fights,” said Ramirez when asked how many fights he wants in 2017. “I want to be more active.”
That sounds overly ambitious on Ramirez’s part about him wanting to fight 3 more times in 2017. I don’t think Top Rank can get enough fight dates to keep Ramirez that busy. It wouldn’t be surprising if Ramirez fights only once more in 2017. At the most, I see Ramirez fighting two more times this year. If Top Rank can stick Ramirez on some of their cards, they might be able to have him fight three more times.
“No, I don’t think so,” said Ramirez when asked if he thinks a fight between him and Canelo Alvarez is possible. ”That fight will never happen, because he’s small for me. He’s too small. He don’t want to move up to 168. I can’t go down to 160. The only way is if I chop off one leg to make 160. No, I don’t think I could make the weight,” said Ramirez when asked if he thinks he could melt down to 164 ½ pounds to fight Canelo at a catch-weight like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is on May 6. “I’m too tall for that weight. But if he wants to fight and if he wants to move up, I’m really happy to fight with the best. I know him really well,” said Ramirez about Canelo. “I do sparring before when we were training together in Guadalajara. He has good skills. He’s a smart guy and a good fighter. It’s going to be a great fight for Chavez Jr. and Canelo. That fight could be,” said Ramirez about a fight with Chavez Jr. “If he wants, let’s do it. Let’s make it happen. But if he doesn’t want it, then it’ll never happen that fight. I want to keep my belt and keep moving,” said Ramirez.
Chavez Jr. is someone that would be a viable option for Ramirez in the near future. If Chavez Jr. loses to Canelo, he’s got very options at 168 for big fights. He’s probably not going to be willing to fight light heavyweights after his bad experience with Andzej Fonfara in 2015. Ramirez would be a good fight for Chavez Jr. It might not be a huge fight yet because Ramirez isn’t a big name at this point in his career. It would still likely attract a lot of interest in the boxing world. Ramirez’s fighting style would be tough on Chavez Jr. though, because he does better against fighters that are more stationary. He needs fighters that are more stationary for him to do well. When Ramirez was more of an inside slugger a few years ago, he would have been perfect for Chavez Jr. to fight back then. But with Ramirez now more mobile, it would be a hard fight for Chavez Jr. I’m not sure he would agree to fight Ramirez with his current fighting style.
Even if Ramirez was willing to go down to 164.5 lbs. for a fight against Canelo, I don’t think the fight would happen. Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy are careful in who they match him against. Look how long it’s taken for them to get close to putting him in with Golovkin, and we still don’t know if their truly ready yet to make that fight. With Ramirez, it’s even more of a problem, because he’s not aging like Golovkin, and he’s tall, mobile, and he’s not going to stand in front of Canelo. Then there are the potential problems with Golden Boy and Top Rank needing to work together on the promotion. It would be a shared promotion, and that would complicate things.
“If they want to do a catch-weight, I’ll do it, because I’m looking for good fighters,” said Ramirez in talking about him being interested in fighting light heavyweights like Badou Jack. “I want to win the fight and keep going and keep my belt,” said Ramirez.