Groves vs. Eubank Jr. winner targeted by Gilberto Ramirez
By Dan Ambrose: WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs) says he’s ready to face the winner of the February 17th fight between WBA 168 lb. champion George Groves and IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr.
The 26-year-old Ramirez says he’s willing to travel to the UK to fight the Eubank vs. Groves winner. Ramirez wants to unify the 168 lb. division and facing the Groves-Eubank Jr. winner would be the first step in his journey to meet that end. If Ramirez can beat the winner of that fight, then it would give him his second world title at super middleweight.
Ramirez would then only need to beat IBF champion Caleb Truax and WBC champion David Benavidez for him to unify the entire super middleweight division. It might be easier said than done for Ramirez to face and beat all those fighters, as it’ll be tricky for Top Rank to set the matches up without them making a huge offer.
“There are good names at my weight, but I would like to go to England and beat them there, because there is no problem in traveling for these types of fights, against big names,” Ramirez said to Erika Montoya via boxnation.com.
Ramirez, 6’2”, would have a tough time dealing with the offensive skills and punching power of Groves and Eubank Jr. Ramirez is a rangy fighter with good skills. Ramirez looked good in his recent wins over Arthur Abraham and Max Bursak. Ramirez beat Abraham by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to 2 years to capture the WBO super middleweight title.
Ramirez has defended the belt twice successfully against Bursak and Jesse Hart. However, Ramirez did not shine against Hart last September in winning a close 12 round unanimous decision. That fight showed that Ramirez has a lot of flaws on defense that can be exploited.
Ramirez will be defending his title next month in a voluntary defense against unbeaten Habib Ahmed (25-0-1, 17 KOs) of Ghana at the Bank of America Center, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ahmed is rated #4 WBO by the World Boxing Organization at this time. However, it’s hard to tell how good Ahmed is because he’s been matched carefully by his management during his 7-year pro career. Ahmed has fought mostly in the Ghana against the top fighters over there rather than against world class opposition. The WBO sees something in Ahmed for them to rank him so highly with their organization.
“In those types of fights, the conditions do not matter because I have confidence in what I can do, in the way we prepare and in my reach – which is why I asked for Chris Eubank, George Groves or Callum Smith,” said Ramirez. ”But before I can think about that, the first thing is to retain my title and that is what I hope to accomplish,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez can’t afford to take the kind of punishment he took in his recent win over Jesse Hart. That was a truly grueling fight for Ramirez. He won the fight, but it was one of those type of matches that take a lot out of a fighter. Groves, Smith and Eubank Jr. are a step above Hart in ability and offensive skills. Ramirez should think twice before he travels to the UK to fight one of those guys. If Ramirez’s promoters at Top Rank don’t block him from facing one of those guys, he could be sorry for it if he goes to the UK and gets beaten.
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