Former super middleweight titlist and current light heavyweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez seems to be inching his way toward dropping the “Gilberto” and simply going by Zurdo, but even more than that, he’s psyched to be making his Golden Boy debut on July 9, when he faces Sullivan Barrera in a DAZN main event from Los Angeles.
Barrera (22-3, 14 KO) is now 39 and hasn’t fought since June 2019, so it’ll be 25 months of inactivity by the time he gets in with Ramirez (41-0, 27 KO), who is a decade his junior, as well. Barrera’s lost two of his last three, dropping a TKO to Dmitry Bivol in 2018 and a decision against Jesse Hart last time out. Between them, he dominated Seanie Monaghan in Brooklyn.
Ramirez has fought just once since Apr. 2019, self-promoting a comeback in Galveston, Tex., last December, where he beat Alfonso Lopez easily. Ramirez had previously been with Top Rank, and has settled in now with Golden Boy.
“I’m very excited to make my debut with Golden Boy,” Ramirez said. “LA’s the home to many Latinos and I can’t wait to share the moment with my people.
“Every fight is the most important fight of my career. Obviously, the goal is to dominate the division and become world champ, and I do believe this matchup versus Barrera is a step in the right direction.”
Ramirez is doing the right thing from his position as Barrera’s opponent, taking the veteran seriously and not looking past him toward a potential title fight.
“Barrera is a tough Cuban veteran with world-class experience,” Ramirez added. He’s fought the best in the past and shown why he’s been in many title fights against them. He even had a one-sided victory over the current WBO champion, Joe Smith Jr.”
Barrera’s win over Smith came back in 2017, where he got off the canvas in the first round and did fairly well dominate the remainder of the fight. He also has a loss to Andre Ward from 2016.
Ramirez hasn’t had a really serious fight, for what it’s worth, since 2018, when he beat Jesse Hart for a second time, both narrow decisions. Since then he’s had just a fight with Tommy Karpency in 2019 and the comeback late last year. So while Barrera has been inactive, that’s probably not enough of a reason to count the Cuban out in this fight, either.
Thje July 9 show will also feature Joseph Diaz Jr and Javier Fortuna fighting for the interim WBC lightweight title, plus Seniesa Estrada challenging Tenkai Tsunami for the WBO 108 lb belt, and Hector Tanajara Jr taking on William Zepeda in a matchup of unbeaten lightweight prospects.