Super middleweight contender Gilberto Ramirez will be back in action on November 20, headlining a truTV-televised card from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The date had been set for a while, and on Monday his opponent was named. Ramirez will face Gevorg Khatchikian of the Netherlands in a 10-round fight.
Ramirez (32-0, 24 KO) had a bit of a disappointing outing on HBO in January of this year, beating Maxim Vlasov by 10-round decision. While the fight was a solid step-up win for Ramirez, he didn't exactly thrill in victory, and Top Rank and his team have pulled back the hype a bit, which in all reality is not a bad thing for the 24-year-old Mexican southpaw.
In June, Ramirez returned with a win over veteran Derek Edwards on truTV card, winning on shutout scores over 10 rounds. Now, he says he's one win away from a potential world title fight.
"I have been training more than a month because this fight is so important," said Ramirez. "I've been promised a world championship fight if I win this one, so I am preparing like this is a world championship fight. It is do or die for me and my career to win and to have the opportunity to make history by becoming the first Mexican to win a world title in this division."
Khatchikian (23-1, 11 KO) just fought on Monday, knocking out Varazdat Chernikov in the 10th round in Amsterdam. He also fought on September 12, beating Robizon Omsarashvili inside of two rounds.
If you recognize the name at all, it's likely because of his 2014 fight with James DeGale, an 11th round TKO loss in England. He was out of his depth in that fight, but he says he's not coming to the United States just to be a stepping stone.
"I am going to the U.S. to be recognized as an elite fighter," said Khatchikian. "My opponent Gilberto Ramírez is a quality fighter, but I promise I will put on the performance of my life and beat him. On November 20th, the world will know who Gevorg Khatchikian is."
In the truTV co-feature, lightweights Ivan Najera (16-1, 8 KO) and Saul Rodriguez (18-0-1, 13 KO) will meet in a 10-round bout. The 22-year-old Najera was outclassed over 10 rounds by blue chip prospect Felix Verdejo last time out, but he also took an extremely talented, heavily hyped fighter a full 10 rounds, too. Rodriguez, also 22, is coming off of an eight-round decision win in August over Ramsey Luna.