Undefeated former WBO Super Middleweight Champion and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez [41-0, 27 KOs], currently a highly ranked light heavyweight contender, will have a lot on the line July 9th against world light heavyweight title challenger Sullivan Barrera [22-3, 14 KOs], including world title fight implications and, ultimately, his boxing legacy.
Zurdo vs. Barrera, presented by Golden Boy Promotions, will be streamed exclusively on DAZN, live from Banc of California Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Football Club [pro soccer], located in downtown Los Angeles.
To get a world light heavyweight title shot against any of the reigning champions – WBC & IBF Artur Beterbiev [16-0, 16 KOs], WBA Super Dmitry Bivol [18-0, 11 KOs] or WBO Joe Smith [27-3, 21 KOs] – Barrera stands in Ramirez’ way in the 12-round Zurdo vs. Barrera main event. Ramirez is ranked No. 3 by the WBA and WBO, as well as No. 5 by the IBF.
“That’s what the fans want but I’m not sure if these fighters are ready for me,” Ramirez boldly said about Beterbiev, Bivol and Smith. “I wasn’t impressed by any of the three in their recent bouts. They can run as much as they want, but they can’t hide forever. I know I’m the best in the division and, sooner or later, I will be snatching each of the belts and taking their souls one by one.”
Ramirez, who recently turned 30 [June 19], was the first Mexican fighter to capture a world super middleweight title, which he relinquished in 2019 to move up to the light heavyweight division, in which he is 2-0 [2 KOs] having defeated Tommy Karpency [29-6-1] and Alphonso Lopez [32-3] last December to capture the North American Boxing Federation [NABF] crown.
A decorated Cuban amateur boxer [285-27 record], 39-year-old Barrera defeated future pro world champions such as Chad Dawson, Beibut Shumenov and Mariano Natalio Carrera prior to defecting from Cuba to Miami and turning pro.
Barrera, fighting out of Cuba by way of Miami, is 3-3 vs. past or present world champions with victories against Jeff Lacy [WTKO4], Karo Murat [WKO12] and Felix Valera [WDEC10], losing to Bivol [TKO12], Smith [DEC10], and Hall of Famer Andre Ward [DEC 12].
“I always expect the best from my opponents,” Ramirez noted. “Barrera is a professional and I know he will be ready when the lights are on. He displayed that he’s a strong fighter when he beat and broke Joe Smith Jr.’s jaw in their bout. A victory for Barrera can resurge his career and alter my path; so, I prepare for the best version of Barrera, and I will not let anything deter my goals.
“I’ve been working hard. There’s new stuff I’ve been fine tuning and I can’t wait to showcase it July 9th. Come fight night, I know all my hard work will pay off.”