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Gilberto Ramirez to defend title against Habib Ahmed, Feb. 3

Ramirez will be making the third defense of his 168lb title.

Gilberto Ramirez v Max Bursak Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

WBO super middleweight titleholder Gilberto Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs) has just been scheduled to make his third title defense against Habib Ahmed (26-0-1, 18 KOs) on Feb 3 in in Corpus Christi, Texas. The fight will headline the first Top Rank on ESPN card of 2018, kicking off at 10:30pm ET.

“Zurdo” Ramirez, 26, is most recently coming off a hard-fought, close decision win over Jesse Hart in September, and his Top Rank promoter believes he’s established himself as the best 168-pounder in the world, telling ESPN:

"Gilberto Ramirez has proven that he is the best of the super middleweights," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "All you have to do is look at his world championship victories against Arthur Abraham and Jesse Hart. Gilberto has quickly become the face of boxing on both sides of the border."

Meanwhile, his opponent, “Wild Hurricane” Ahmed (what a nickname!) remains undefeated through 27 fights, but hasn’t fought outside of his native Ghana, nor against any opponent of note. He’ll be taking a big step up in competition in this one.

"I have an important message for Gilberto Ramirez," Ahmed said. "I am coming to America to take your title. I am going for the knockout. All of Ghana and all of my fans are going to be so proud, so happy. This is the opportunity I always wanted. I am taking Ramirez's title with me to my homeland."

Ramirez will be the heavy favorite heading into this fight, but perhaps Ahmed will be able to upset the applecart.