By Charles Brun: Highly ranked Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs) is ready to dethrone 175-lb champions Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, or Joe Smith Jr. next.
The former WBO super middleweight champion ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, 30, looked outstanding in his last fight at 175, destroying top 15 contender Sullivan Barrera by a fourth round knockout on July 9th.
That fight was Ramirez’s third since moving up to the light heavyweight division in 2019, and he’s tired of waiting for a title shot. Ramirez wants the title shot NOW, not five years from now.
Ramirez ready for the top fighters at 175
If Ramirez can’t get an immediate title shot, he wouldn’t mind having a small Hors d’oeuvre by taking on Joshua Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs), who surprisingly is ranked ahead of ‘Zurdo’ in the rankings despite having fought much weaker opposition.
That fight is unlikely to happen, as Buatsi’s promoters at Matchroom Boxing are matching him VERY carefully after his close call against Marko Calic last October.
“We are proud of our heritage and have been the best fighters,” said Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez. “Russians know I will take out both Bivol and Beterbiev. Joe Smith, Jr. is just an appetizer.”
WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) doesn’t have a fight scheduled after his negotiations with Canelo Alvarez fizzled recently.
If Bivol were willing to take a risk, a fight between him and Ramirez would be an excellent option.
Like Buatsi, Bivol is promoted by Matchroom, which likely decreases the chances of Ramirez getting a shot against him.
Moreover, Bivol looked poor in his last fight against Craig Richards, and it’s clear that he struggles against fighters that are aggressive, throw a lot of hard shots, and show no fear of him.
Ramirez would be a bad style match-up for Bivol, and it’s very likely that his promoters at Matchroom are well aware of that. The same goes for Buatsi. He’s looked shaky against Marko Calic and Ricards Bolotniks.
Gilberto: I would destroy Buatsi
It’s safe to say that Buatsi isn’t ready for Gilberto Ramirez right now, and I’m not certain when he ever will be. Right now, Buatsi is arguably a few rungs below Bivol in the talent depart and nowhere near the level where IBF/WBC champion Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) is now.
At this point, Matchroom is going to need to keep Buatsi with his training wheels on and hope that he can show improvement over the next two or three fights before they throw him in with someone like Bivol, Beterbiev, or Smith Jr with eyes closed.
“I think they’re all reluctant to fight a Mexican light heavyweight like me,” Zurdo Ramirez continued about the champions at 175. “There’s a reason why Bivol is retracting his statement and staying quiet after all his social media antics. If he was serious, it’s an easy fight to make, and he knows it.”
“I’m also hearing Buatsi’s name in the mix, but I would absolutely destroy him,” said Gilberto.