Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez has etched his name in Mexican boxing history. He is the first fighter from Mexico to win a Super Middleweight world title. On April 9th 2016 he defeated long reigning veteran champion Arthur Abraham via a dominant 12 round unanimous decision and that place Ramirez among the top super middleweights of the world. He seemed to be ready for a busy year but a hand injury caused him to miss the rest of the last year. Now following surgery he is ready to regain his momentum.
“I was a little surprised how I won that fight,” said Zurdo to Behind the Gloves, speaking of his title fight with Abraham. “I was real confident in my preparation and confident I would win, but the way I won I surprised myself.”
The victory was clear as all the judges scored it 120-108 for Zurdo. He was set for his first defense on July 23rd, but suffered a hand injury that forced him out of action the rest of the year. “ I was sad and frustrated to not be able to fight and to be inactive so long. I had been active consistently and then to miss time due to injury hurt. After time I learned the consequences of the injury so I took it and I did my recovery now I feel even better and stronger and I thank God I have recovered a hundred percent.”
Ramirez has many opportunities for a good year if things go his way in this next fight. April 22nd is will be the co-main event on a Top Rank PPV against Max Bursak. Talking about his opponent, Ramirez said, “Max Bursak is a strong fighter with a solid background and he’s coming for a title. I’m not looking past him at all I’ve trained a hundred percent and will do everything to win this fight.”
Should he win he may have to defend against his mandatory Jesse Hart. Should he get past these two hurdles then there will be many options are there for him. “I want to be active this year God first if I win this fight, I want maybe 2 or 3 fights this year. I’m focused on April 22nd but I would love to fight James Degale. I would love to go to England if that was to happen, it would be a honor to fight there and hopefully bring another title but as I said first and foremost I’m focused on this fight.”
There has been talk of Zurdo and Triple G and not from fans both promoters and fighters have talked about this fight. “If the fight with Triple G were to come off I would welcome it. I would take it at any moment, fans have asked for it, I’ve asked for it. It’s a fight the fans would like. Following this fight whoever wants to fight we will fight.”
Zurdo is a tall fighter standing over 6 ft tall. He has a big frame and has always been on weight. Being his height obvious questions would be about a possible move to the light heavyweight division. “It depends on my body whenever we get there. We will move up and find the best fights. Right now I have no problems making the weight and maybe in a year or 2 I’ll move up.” “I want people to know me here in the 168 division and give them great fights.”
Zurdo isn’t the prototypical Mexican fighter. When most think of Mexican fighters they think of brawling and blood, but Zurdo carries much more then that. He is very skilled, long and a southpaw with power, but he will brawl if needed. “Fighters in Mexico are looked up to as stars and legends, like Chavez, Barrera, and Morales. I want to be looked at that way.”
This pay-per view card came about has Top Rank wants to keep its fighters active but couldn’t get anybody to buy the fights so he took the fights on made a solid card and put it on pay-per-view. It will have three title fights and the debut of 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson.
“I’m happy for this card on the 22nd with the fighters we have it’s great. Three Mexican champions and the debut of a great fighter in a place like L.A is incredible.
“Truth is in L.A there are many great boxing fans people have always treated me well there and I’m glad I get to fight at the Stubhub center it’s a great feeling.”
Due to the injury Zurdo will be making his first defense with this fight and hoping to follow it up with many more. “I’m proud to defend my title and represent my country. I will do everything to have my hand raised and keep winning fights.”
The card has been received with a mixed response. The fact is Top Rank needs to keep its fighters active and it knows it won’t get the fights soon on TV, so they did what they had to do. Bob Arum said he doesn’t expect to turn a profit here, but he is keeping his fighters active and giving them platform which must be applauded.
Following this fight hopefully they get to be back on TV because Zurdo Ramirez and Jesse Hart is a solid fight. If all goes well for Zurdo a unification with Degale would be great as well. I want to thank Zurdo for taking time out to speak with me and wish him luck.
By Michael Rueda. You can follow him on Twitter on @wolf2988