The sky’s the limit for Gilberto Ramirez
Undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 34-0 (24), passed his biggest test with flying colors, last Saturday night. Ramirez defeated former WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, 44-5 (29), by unanimous decision to take his title in front of a 14,000-plus crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Going into the fight, it was unknown as to how Ramirez would perform in his first world title fight under the pressure of facing the longtime Armenian-German champion, who had been in with much better competition throughout his impressive career. But Ramirez was more than up to the task, making Abraham look slow and old with his continual movement and piston-like jab, that held his rugged opponent at arm’s length throughout the fight. While an aggressive and determined Abraham stalked Gilberto, hoping to lure the taller Ramirez into a brawl, it was evident early and often that Ramirez was more than ready to take control of Abraham and the fight. Ramirez never wilted under the forward movement of the strong and determined Abraham, drilling him with a hard, southpaw right jab and punishing lefts to the body all night.
With the win, Ramirez can be filed under the heading, “The sky’s the limit,” a tall, tough, good-looking, undefeated fighter. Zurdo is a humble champion with a built-in, boxing-crazed, Mexican fan base. In short, he could be described as a promoter’s dream client.
Ramirez passed all the tests leading up to the title fight, besting tough gate-keeps Derrick Findley, Samuel Miller and Derek Edwards, to name a few. However, you never know how a fighter will respond under the bright lights and the pressure of a world title fight; Ramirez responded very well.
With a bevy of talent in and around the 168-pound division, there could be some very interesting fights for the Mazatlan, Mexico-based WBO 168-pound boss.
To lock horns with other champions in a unification bout, Ramirez would certainly need a working passport to meet IBF champ James DeGale from England, Germany’s WBA king Felix Sturm and Sweden’s WBC champ Badou Jack. Middleweight mega-stars like IBF/WBA champion Gennady Golovkin and WBC champ Saul Alvarez, both just six pounds south, may also want to take a shot at another world title in a new division or, in time, maybe Ramirez will look to head seven pounds north to the light heavyweight division. Perhaps Top Rank Promotions would look to give its other undefeated super-middleweight banger, Philadelphia’s Jesse Hart, a shot at Ramirez.
For right now, the burgeoning, Mexican mega-star’s options seem endless.
While it’s busy days ahead for Team Ramirez, the young, 24-year-old champion just wants to relax and enjoy his history-making win.
After the fight, Ramirez said, “I took (Abraham) to a Mexican boxing school. He was a very, very strong puncher but he couldn’t take any movement. I knew, halfway through the fight, I was going to win the fight. I came here to make history and I did it. This is for all the Mexicans. We proved that we can do it. This was the ‘No Trump card.’ All of us Mexicans showed we can rumble. Abraham was a hard, tough fighter. The plan was to box him and I was able to control the fight. I am really happy and excited for this moment. My dream has come true.”