It's been 11 months since we seen Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez inside the ring. Last November he was handily defeated by Dmitry Bivol in Abu Dhabi for the WBA light heavyweight title. He returns this Saturday night versus Joe Smith at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas as the main event on DAZN.
He had been scheduled to fight in March versus Gabe Rosado. Yet that assignment was kiboshed as Ramirez seemed to forget that this bout was set for the light heavyweight division.
Depending on who you believe, the statuesque Zurdo either came in at 187 pounds (per Marcos Villegas) or merely 182.6 pounds (Mike Coppinger). So yeah, he either missed weight by two full weight classes, or just one. Regardless, it was a terrible look.
Something that Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) readily admits.
“The cancellation of the Rosado fight was definitely a disappointing and challenging moment in my career,” Ramirez admitted. “It was the first time I missed weight and I take full responsibility for it. I understand that it had an impact on both the fight itself and my reputation. I want to sincerely apologize to my fans, my team, and everyone who was looking forward to the fight.
And with that, this particular bout is being contested at the cruiserweight division, with a weight limit of 193 pounds according to Golden Boy Promotions president, Eric Gomez.
Perhaps it's a fresh start, or an unfortunate reality of his current situation. While the light heavyweight class isn't one of the glamour divisions in the sport, it's still much more lucrative than being at cruiser (all due respect to Evander Holyfield and Oleksandr Usyk)
“I’m aware that setbacks like this can have an impact but I believe that how I respond to adversity is what truly matters. I’m determined to show through my actions and performances that I’m dedicated to my career and to rectify my past mistakes, "Ramirez stated. "I’m focusing on the present and future, and I’m looking forward to proving myself in upcoming fights and regaining the trust of those who support me.
Hey, it is what it is. Ramirez now has to look forward and make the best of his situation. He does bring a recognizable name to a division that is largely devoid of them to the casual fan.
Now he has to face Smith (28-4, 22 KOs), a former belt-holder at 175 pounds, who in the past has been a fan-friendly banger. This is an interesting crossroads match-up. For both men, a win is vital for them to stay relevant at the world-class level.
And for Ramirez, step one in rebuilding his career and reputation.
“I’m aware that setbacks like this can have an impact but I believe that how I respond to adversity is what truly matters. I’m determined to show through my actions and performances that I’m dedicated to my career and to rectify my past mistakes," he promised.
"I’m focusing on the present and future, and I’m looking forward to proving myself in upcoming fights and regaining the trust of those who support me.”
I'll admit, I am actually (pleasantly) surprised that Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy Promotions have actually come together to schedule a second bout in 2023 for 'KingRy', who was stopped in seven rounds back in April by Gervonta 'Tank' Davis.
Let's face it, the relationship between Garcia and GBP/Oscar De La Hoya has been turbulent to say the least. But for now, it seems like the two sides are on the same page as they try to pick up the pieces from the loss to Davis.
“Let’s go! I am so excited to announce that I will be fighting Oscar Duarte on December 2,” said Ryan Garcia. “I’m back and feeling better and stronger than before. I wanted Duarte for me and for the fans. He’s tough and I’m ready to give people another show at my best weight again. Say whatever you want about Ryan Garcia, but I’m always going to give the fans what they want. Love you. See you December 2 on DAZN. Location and ticketing will be announced soon.”
And yes, this fight will not be on pay-per-view, but part of your regular DAZN subscription.
This week on 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' Mario Lopez and I do a deep dive into the Saul Alvarez-Jermell Charlo fight and everything else in boxing (and beyond). Click on the Linktree to subscribe on your preferred podcast platform:
On Saturday afternoon DAZN has live coverage of Leigh Wood-Josh Warrington for the WBA featherweight title in Sheffield, England....Speaking of Garcia, there are some rumors of a potential fight between him and junior welterweight champion, Teofimo Lopez, for the first quarter of '24....Jamel Herring will come out of his short retirement on Nov 7, and he has a new trainer in Wayne McCullough....Texas-Oklahoma is the college football game of the week....I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....