Despite reports that last week’s announcement was premature, DAZN’s July 9th doubleheader in Los Angeles is official. Former super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez takes on light heavyweight veteran Sullivan Barrera in the main event, while recently stripped super featherweight champion Joseph Diaz Jr. moves up in weight to challenge Javier Fortuna in Ryan Garcia’s stead.
Ramirez (41-0, 27 KO) fights for the third time since vacating his title after five defenses, having tested the 175-pound waters with one-sided wins over Tommy Karpency and Alfonso Lopez. Barrera (22-3, 14 KO) represents his first true light heavyweight test, though he hasn’t fought since a June 2019 loss to Jesse Hart.
“I’m excited to be headlining this show in Los Angeles with Golden Boy Promotions,” said Gilberto Ramirez. “It’s going to be a great night of boxing with fans back in the stands. I’ve always enjoyed fighting here, and I can’t wait to put on a show to continue my hunt for the light heavyweight championship. I appreciate Oscar and the Golden Boy family for their love and support, and I look will forward to a great night of boxing.”
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to headline such a big card against Gilberto Ramirez,” said Sullivan Barrera. “I know that my opponent is a former world champion with a lot of experience and that he will come very much prepared. However, I feel that I have faced much better opposition. I’ve also spent my entire career in the light heavyweight division, something that will be totally new for him. It will be a difficult fight, but I will walk away with my hands raised in victory.”
Diaz (31-1-1, 15 KO) went from dominating Tevin Farmer in a breakout performance to losing his titles on the scales before drawing with Shavkat Rakhimov; he’d previously missed out on a chance to win the WBA featherweight belt in similar fashion. That presumably won’t be a concern against Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KO), who had to settle for mauling Antonio Lozada in November among fizzled matchups against Luke Campbell, Jorge Linares, and teh aforementioned Garica.
“I’m stepping in for Ryan Garcia to challenge Javier Fortuna,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “I wish him nothing but the best. Mental health is a very important matter that people should deal with. I’m excited and ready to go out there and redeem myself to all my fans. I’m extremely focused and locked in. Fight night is going to be a movie. I’ll be putting the whole 130 and 135-pound division on notice.”
“I’m very happy that Jo Jo Diaz has accepted the challenge to face me, as long as after the fight he makes no excuses for getting knocked out”, said Javier Fortuna. “I give Diaz credit for having the balls to fight me. Devin Haney doesn’t have those balls. But after I win this fight, Haney will have 90 days to find them. Haney can run but he can’t hide. Fight me or give up the WBC title!”