Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs. Sullivan Barrera on July 9th on DAZN at 175
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez will get a chance to show fans whether he’s cut out to be fighting at 175 when he takes Sullivan Barrera in the headliner on DAZN on the July 9th show.
Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs) will give Ramirez a test to see if he can hang with champions Artur Beterbiev, Dimitry Bivol, and Joe Smith Jr.
Former WBO super middleweight champion Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) hasn’t done much with his career since vacating his title in 2019. He moved up to 175 and has gotten his feet wet with fights against Tommy Karpency and Alfonso Lopez
This card originally was formed as the main event for unbeaten interim WBC lightweight champion Ryan Garcia to fight Javier Fortuna, but that match-up was canceled recently. Ryan is dealing with some issues right now, so he’s off the card.
Given Ramirez’s tendency to go to war with his opponents, it could end badly for him if he faces Beterbiev or Smith Jr. He would stand a better chance against WBA champion Bivol, who is more of a pure boxer than a puncher.
Ramirez has wins over Jesse Hart, Roamer Alexis Angulo, Maxim Vlasov, Arthur Abraham and Maxsim Bursak. The wins that stand by far on Ramirez’s 12-year resume are his victories over Hart and Vlasov.
All the rest of the fighters Ramirez has beaten have been nothing to write home about. Despite holding the WBO 168-lb title for three years from 2016 to 2019, Ramirez’s opposition was average, with the best being Jesse Hart and Vlasov.
Top Rank hoped to turn Ramirez into a star, but they couldn’t get the big names to fight him. Ramirez wanted to fight Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, but neither of those guys showed interest in fighting him. It’s too bad because if Ramirez had beaten them, it would have made him a star overnight.
The Cuban Barrera, 39, is a 12-year pro with wins over these excellent fighters:
- Joe Smith Jr
- Sean Monaghan
- Felix Vera
- Karo Murat
- Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
- Rowland Bryant
Barrera hasn’t fought since June 2019 in a 10 round unanimous decision loss to Jesse Hart. He’s lost two out of his last three fights, with his other defeat coming against Dimitry Bivol.
In the chief support bout, we got a couple of former world champions in Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr and Javier Fortuna going to war in a fight that could upstage the main event.
Diaz Jr (31-1, 15 KOs) moves up from super featherweight after losing his IBF t title on the scale for his title defense against Shavkat Rakhimov on February 13th.
Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) wanted to fight Ryan Garcia, but he lost out on that fight when the young star pulled out because of mental health issues. He’d like to fight Ryan at some point, but for now, that match-up isn’t on the table.
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- Joe Smith Jr. vs Gilberto Ramirez in early October at catchweight
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- Gilberto Ramirez on missing weight: “This is the first and last time”