Hearn says deal close for Rocky Fielding vs. Gilberto Ramirez
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn is close to making a deal for #3 WBO Rocky Fielding (26-1, 14 KOs) to challenge WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs) for his title after his win 35-year-old journeyman Karel Horejsek (11-8-3, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, UK.
Hearn believes he can have the Ramirez vs. Fielding fight done in one to two weeks from now.
Fielding, 30, did not look impressive in beating Horejsek by an 8 round points decision by a 79-74 score. Fielding made Horejsek look like a good fighter. It was a poor opponent for Fielding, but that’s become the norm since his 1st round knockout loss to Callum Smith in November 2015. Fielding has won his last 5 fights, but against largely fringe level opposition.
Hearn says Fielding has earned a title shot against the 26-year-old Ramirez, but you can make an argument that he doesn’t deserve a title shot.
Fielding’s last 5 wins have come against these fighters:
• Karel Hoejsek – journeyman
• David Brophy – fringe contender
• John Ryder – fringe contender
• Istvan Zeller – journeyman
• Christopher Rebrasse – 2nd tier fighter that is quickly heading towards journeyman status
“We’ve been in talks this week. It looks like it will take place in June, we are just working on the deal now, it’s quite close,” Hearn said to Sky Sports. “Fielding has worked his way up the rankings and earned his shot.”
Fielding is going to be out of his element when he gets inside the ring with the 6’2” Ramirez. This will likely be another 1st round knockout loss for Fielding. He needs to prove himself by fighting someone like Jesse Hart, Fedor Chudinov, Caleb Plant, Juergen Braehmer, Anthony Dirrell and Rogelio Medina. Can Fielding beat some of those fighters? Maybe. He might be good enough to defeat Medina, but I think he would lose to the rest of them. Chris Eubank Jr. would be a good option for Fielding to test him to see if he’s ready to fight for a world title, but that fight isn’t going to happen.
Hearn is not going Fielding any favors by matching him against Ramirez. With the poor preparation that Fielding has had in his last 5 fights, he’s going to be completely over-matched by Ramirez in my estimation. Hearn should be trying to improve Fielding’s skills by matching him against the better contenders in the 168 lb. division. Putting Fielding in with fodder repeatedly and then saying he’s earned a shot to fight Ramirez is doing him and the boxing public a huge disservice, because he’s not ready for that fight.
It’s going to end badly for Fielding with him getting pulverized by Ramirez, and then all of his fans are going to complain and say he was never any good to begin with. Fielding is a decent fighter, but he’s not getting the experience necessary for him to improve. Being put in with a journeyman like Karel Horejsek (11-8-3, 9 KOs) isn’t going to help Fielding prepare for Ramirez. That kind of opponent is who you fight to prepare you to fight other journeyman level fodder.
Ramirez recently successfully defended his World Boxing Organization super middleweight title beating little known Habib Ahmed by a 6th round knockout last month on February 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was a horrible fight to watch. Ahmed looked like a small middleweight with zero talent that had walked into the wrong ring. Ahmed was no match for Ramirez, but obviously that was the whole point of this mismatch being made. It was always meant to be a showcase fight for Ramirez. The thing is, it was such a dreadful opponent that it made Ramirez look bad for having fought him. Ramirez’s other recent successful title defenses came against Max Bursak and Jesse Heart. Ramirez almost got beaten by Hart.
Ramirez was hurt a couple of times by Hart in that fight. Bursak was another fighter in the same class as Ahmed. In other words, he didn’t belong in the ring with Ramirez. The promoters for Ramirez, Top Rank, don’t appear to be in a hurry to match him against talented fighters outside of their promotional company. They’ll likely eagerly make the fight with Fielding, because he’s not a threat to beating Ramirez. Now if this were Callum Smith or George Groves, I think Top Rank would drag their feet on letting either of those guys fight Ramirez, because they’d have a pretty good chance of beating him.
If the fight gets made by Hearn, Fielding will be Ramirez’s 4th title defense of his WBO belt. Ramirez won the title in 2016 in beating Arthur Abraham by a 12 round unanimous decision. Ramirez is one of those guys that looks good when he’s matched against lower level opposition, but when he’s matched against fighters with a shred of talent like Hart and Maksim Vlasov, he doesn’t look good at all.
“It’s a very difficult fight and Ramirez could be the best of the bunch at 168lbs, but you have to take these opportunities, Rocky needs to jump into a big fight,” Hearn said.
Ramirez is NOT the best at super middleweight. Hearn sounds like he’s trying to pump Ramirez up so that it doesn’t look as bad after Fielding loses to him. I rate Groves and Callum Smith as better fighters than Ramirez. James DeGale, before he suffered a shoulder injury against Badou Jack, would have given Ramirez problems. WBA champion Tyron Zeuge is a pretty good fighter too. He would be a tough out for Ramirez.
Fielding will likely need to come to the U.S for the fight with Ramirez. Top Rank isn’t likely going to want to let their fighter Ramirez fight in the UK, as they’re trying to turn him into a star. Top Rank boss Bob Arum still has hopes of getting middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin to face Ramirez when he eventually moves up to 168. Ramirez is good enough to beat the likes of Fielding no matter where the fight is staged. Ramirez will likely knockout Fielding. Ramirez isn’t a big knockout puncher, but he won’t need to be for him to stop Fielding.