Should Gilberto Ramirez move to cruiserweight?
By Jim Calfa: Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez may need to start thinking about moving up to cruiserweight at this point in his career. Ramirez, 30, wants to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol at 175 and fight all the big names in the division.
If you saw how huge Ramirez was last Saturday night after blowing up from his weigh-in weight of 175 to 204 lbs, you’ll understand that he needs to move up to cruiserweight for his own good.
Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) had a big size advantage over his opponent Dominic Boesel (32-3, 12 KOs) last Saturday night in stopping the GGerman fighter in the fourth round in their headliner on DAZN at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
It’s surprising how quickly Ramirez outgrew the 175-lb division after moving up to the weight class in 2019. In going from 168 to 175, you’d think that Ramirez had enough weight to play with so that he wouldn’t need another move up in weight for many years.
If Ramirez stubbornly chooses to stay at 175, he’s not going to be able to continue to make the weight limit for much longer anyway. Another thing is that even if Ramirez does make weight at 175, his performances will be negatively impacted due to his lack of speed & power not being sufficient.
Zurdo’s fights at 175
Zurdo wants the big money fights against Dmitry Bivol, Canelo Alvarez, Artur Beterbiev, and Joe Smith Jr. However, it’s a pipedream that Ramirez will be able to beat any of those fighters because they have too much talent and power.
Ramirez big enough for cruiserweight
“Zurdo Ramirez has his sights set on Dmitry Bivol, but he’s also eyeballing another weight class. Zurdo told us on Beyond the Bell that he’s considering a move to cruiserweight, where he can potentially challenge one of the 200-pound titles later this year,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN’s JABS. Do you like the idea of Zurdo at cruiserweight?
“No, I don’t because, like you say, I think cruiserweight is a weigh station to heavyweight,” said Sergio Mora. “Look what [Oleksandr] Usyk had to do.
“He became undisputed at cruiserweight, but he had to come up to heavyweight to finally get appreciated and recognized and put in the top pound-for-pound list by everybody because he couldn’t fight anybody at cruiserweight.
“So, no, I think that’s the wrong move. Stay at light heavyweight where the wild things are like that book. That’s where the monsters are at in the 175-lb division. You’ve got [Artur] Beterbiev, you’ve got Joe Smith, you’ve got Bivol.
“That’s where the money is, that’s where the big names are, that’s where you stay if you’re [Zurdo] Ramirez. You’re not going to bounce around winning titles from people we’ve never heard of. Stay at 175 and make some noise there.”
“You mentioned Beterbiev, Smith, and Dmitry Bivol,” said Mannix. “It would be great if Ramirez could get one of those fights, but those fights feel like a pipe dream right now.
“Officially, Ramirez is the #1 contender for Dmitry Bivol’s [WBA 175-lb] title. But if Canelo Alvarez rematches Bivol, he’s not going to get that shot.”
Zurdo unlikely to get title shot soon
“If Bivol can cut a deal in the next couple of months to fight the winner of Beterbiev vs. Smith, Ramirez is not going to get a shot,” said Mannix. “So he’s in a good division, but he’s not going to get the biggest names in that division probably over the next calendar year.
“Why not try your hand at cruiserweight? He is a cruiserweight. He weighed in on Friday of last week at 175 pounds. On Saturday, he weighed in at 204 lbs. He was a heavyweight when he stepped into the ring against Dominic Boesel.
“I think his body can handle it, and there’s a method to the madness in going to cruiserweight. He knows Canelo Alvarez, at some point, wants to add a fifth-weight division world title.
“If Zurdo Ramirez can go up to cruiserweight and grab one of those belts off one of those titleholders. He can then dangle it in front of Canelo and say, ‘Look, you didn’t want to fight me at 168 or 175. I’ve got a belt here at the 200-lb weight class. Come and get it from me.’
“So, I think there’s more than one reason why Ramirez should look at cruiserweight,” said Mannix.
“You’re talking about just going up to just dangle a belt in front of Canelo; that’s if he wins a belt at cruiserweight just so he can get a fight against Canelo?” said Mora.
“Canelo is going to be chasing Bivol for those belts again. I think 175 is where he stays. Here’s another thing. Whenever a fighter goes up in weight, he kind of gets comfortable up there. He gets lazy to make it back down. There are also dangers of dehydrating yourself and going back down.
“There’s a lot of trouble in going up in weight. A fighter gets comfortable, and the body gets accustomed to it. Yeah, Zurdo Ramirez weighed 200 lbs going into that fight, but he’s a big guy.
“Anytime you have a tall fighter with wide shoulders when they rehydrate, they can put on weight. It’s not like shorter fighters. So, I think it’s a bad idea to go up to cruiserweight.
“There are no names up there; there’s no money. So why go up there just for a belt and like you said, to dangle it? That’s going to be another year, year and a half before Canelo takes care of business with Bivol, maybe with Golovkin. So, I just think it’s a bad idea,” said Mora.
How long can Gilberto make weight?
“Yeah, but right now, unless he’s going to fight Joshua Buatsi, a fight that I would love to see, by the way, there’s no big names and no big money for Ramirez at light heavyweight,” said Mannix.
“Who knows if he can stay at light heavyweight for a year or so while he waits for Canelo. You talk about his wide shoulders and how big he is. I don’t care how big he is. He put on 29 pounds in one day.
“I’ve never even heard of anything like that. It’s almost 30 pounds overnight, is what Gilberto Ramirez rehydrated to. I find it hard to believe over the next year that he’s physically going to be able to make that weight  as he gets a little bit older and puts on more muscle in his training camps.
“I just think at some point, he’s going to outweigh that division anyway. He might as well be proactive about it,” said Mannix.
“There’s nothing proactive bout going to a weigh-station at cruiserweight for one. Two, blowing up in weight to pick up a belt when you’re planning on coming back down, I would expect,” said Mora.
Ramirez can use cruiserweight title for bait
“But maybe he wouldn’t come back down,” said Mannix about Zurdo. “Maybe, he’d say to Canelo, ‘Fight me.'”
“Stay at cruiserweight and wait for Canelo?” said Mora.
“Maybe he goes to heavyweight after that, who knows?” said Mannix. “Maybe he wants to win a title in the 200+ lb weight class [Bridgerweight]. Clearly, his body can handle the weight. I say, you wait for Canelo, dangle that belt in front of Canelo and see what happens.”
“Just because you can weigh 200 pounds doesn’t make you a 200-lb fighter,” said Mora. “Ramirez can’t carry that power. Yes, he was able to stop a light heavyweight, but you’re not going to be able to knock out fighters that are coming down from 230 to 200 lbs. That’s the difference.
“It’s not what you weigh in at; it’s what you’re coming down from. Ramirez went up to that weight. There are going to be fighters at heavyweight that are going to be coming down. They’re going to be naturally more bigger.
“Heavyweights is a terrible idea because Ramirez isn’t a move like Usyk. He doesn’t use the angles, and he doesn’t have that IQ from the Olympics and all that.
“Light heavyweight and cruiserweight, in the middle of the highest he should go. I just think that’s where the wild things are. I’m going to stay with that analogy. Ramirez is going to wake up and beat one of these monsters,” said Mora.
“Look, if he can get that fight with Bivol, great,” said Mannix. If he wants a fight with Joshua Buatsi, awesome, but I do think there’s an upside in moving to cruiserweight to try and get one of those titles,” said Mannix.
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