Hearn says Callum Smith vs. Gilberto Ramirez possible
By Tim Royner: Promoter Eddie Hearn has reportedly spoken to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum about putting together a unification fight between WBO super middleweight champion Giberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and WBA champion Callum Smith, and he sees the fight as a possibility, according to Michael Benson.
Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) is fighting at light heavyweight this Friday against former 175 lb title challenger Tommy Karpency (29-6-1, 18 KOs) in the chief support for the Vasily Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla card on ESPN+ at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Ramirez, 27, has spoken about possibly staying at light heavyweight if he can get a title shot opportunity against one of the champions. Additionally, Ramirez wants to hold onto his WBO super middleweight title in case his promoters at Top Rank can set him up in a unification fight against one of the other champions. With Hearn saying he’s contacted Arum about a unification match between Callum and Ramirez, this is the fight that the Mexican warrior Gilberto wants.
This will be just as tough a fight for Ramirez than he would have in challenging the elite fighters at 175, like Artur Beterbiev, Sergey Kovalev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Dmitry Bivol and Marcus Browne. Top Rank has the money and stable to make fights against all of those elite level fighters for the young 6’2″ Ramirez. However, it might be better for Ramirez to get his feet wet first by fighting the hard hitting 6’3″ Callum in a unification contest at 168. Callum is essentially a light heavyweight, who boils down to super middleweight.
Some boxing fans will see the Ramirez vs. Smith fight, and say that Gilberto is ducking Billy Joe Saunders, a fighter that is on the verge of becoming the mandatory with the WBO. Saunders would be a tough fight for Ramirez, one that he could lose potentially.
Smith, 28, is looking to get back into the ring this summer on June 1 against an opponent still to be determined on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. Smith defeated George Groves by a seventh round knockout in his last fight in September last year in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. It’s surprising that Hearn hasn’t brought Smith back already instead of having him sit out of the ring for eight months after the biggest win of his seven year pro career. Hearn likes to keep his fighters busy, but in the case of Callum, he’s dropped the ball recently. It’s unlikely Smith will be facing Zurdo on the Joshua-Miller card, but you never know. If Gilberto has an easy time with Karpency this Friday, he’ll be able to hop back into the gym and face Smith on June 1 if Arum is willing to make that fight.