By Dan Ambrose: Former world champions Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez & Joe Smith Jr. will meet this Saturday night in a twelve round cruiserweight contest at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
There’s virtually zero buzz about the Ramirez-Smith fight, as both guys are coming off of losses and long layoffs.
Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) was previously scheduled to fight journeyman Gabriel Rosado last March, but the 32-year-old Zurdo failed to make weight for the light heavyweight contest, and it was subsequently canceled.
It was bad enough that Ramirez was using super middleweight Rosado, who had lost five out of his previous fights, but when he weighed in over the 175-lb limit, there was no way the fight could take place. Rosado would been dwarfed inside the ring with the cruiserweight-sized Ramirez.
The Zurdo vs. Smith Jr. event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and will be shown on DAZN starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Zurdo Ramirez lost his last fight against WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in a one-sided defeat last November in Abu Dhabi.
Ramirez was completely overmatched by the much faster & more skilled Bivol in a failed title challenge. Going into the fight, Ramirez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, had talked about how Zurdo was going to avenge Canelo Alvarez’s defeat against Bivol and get one back for Mexico, but it was a sick mismatch. Ramirez was too slow, too limited & too unskilled to deal with Bivol.
Former WBO light heavyweight champion Smith Jr (28-4, 22 KOs) was knocked out in the second round in his last fight by IBF & WBC champ Artur Beterbiev in June of last year.
“People are always going to talk and criticize. I won’t listen to those people. I’m only going to listen to people who are on top of me and that they are truly working hard for their objectives,” said Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez to Sebastian Joseph Milo’s channel in responding to criticism from boxing fans, who think he no longer has it after losing to Dmitry Bivol last year and failing to make weight for a canceled fight against Gabriel Rosado.
“For the Gabriel Rosado fight, I didn’t make the weight. My body didn’t let me. I worked hard that same day for the weigh-in but didn’t make it. I’m moving forward and moving up a division for new challenges.
“Now, I have this fight with Joe Smith Jr., and it’s going to be an interesting fight for me and for many of my fans as well. I’m more hungry now, hungry for victory. I want to feel that energy and that feeling again,” said Gilberto.