Two cruiserweights previously ordered to enter separate title fights will instead face each other. has confirmed that a deal is in place for France’s Arsen Goulamirian to next defend his WBA title versus Mexico’s Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez. News of the fight was verified by Goulamirian through social media and later by the WBA, who granted an exception to the ordered mandatory title defense for the long-reigning but grossly inactive titlist.

Goulamirian was previously ordered to next face former two-time titleholder Yuniel Dorticos. The matchup was parked for several months, with this ruling now shedding light on that development.

The fight is targeted for March. A date was not confirmed by Golden Boy Promotions or Goulamirian’s team, neither of whom responded to inquiries from Boxing Scene seeking further clarification. However, Golden Boy currently has a hold on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for March 16, which will likely be approved during the next Nevada State Athletic Commission monthly agenda hearing on January 23.

Ramirez (45-1, 30KOs) appeared at that very venue in his last bout, a ten-round points win over former WBO light heavyweight titlist Joe Smith Jr. Their October 7 bout saw Ramirez—a former WBO super middleweight titleholder—make his cruiserweight debut, though contested a contracted 193-pound weight limit.

It marked the first ring appearance for the 32-year-old southpaw from Mazatlan, Mexico since a November 2022 lopsided defeat to WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol in Abu Dhabi. Ramirez was due to face Gabriel Rosado last March, but was pulled from the DAZN event when he entered fight week well over the light heavyweight limit.

The win over Smith put Ramirez in title contention at his new weight. However, he was previously ordered to next face former three-time champ Mairis Briedis (28-2, 20KOs) for the vacant IBF cruiserweight title. The two failed to reach an agreement and the matchup was scheduled for a January 16 purse bid hearing.

Representatives from Golden Boy [Ramirez] and Wasserman [Briedis] did not respond to messages left seeking comment on the matter.

Goulamirian (27-0, 18KOs) has held the full WBA cruiserweight title since 2019, upon the divisional departure of former undisputed champ Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14KOs) who has since claimed the unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

However, the Armenia-born boxer—who now lives in France and trains in Big Bear, California—has only fought once in the past four years. That came in a November 2022 twelve-round, unanimous decision over Aleksei Egorov in Le Cannet, France.

An unhealthy mixture of injuries and legal issues beyond his control has slowed his reign to a crawl. Goulamirian was due to face Tommy McCarthy on September 10 in Marseille but the event was canceled due to a bizarre scenario where Canal+—the network who agreed to air the event—abruptly bowed out of the sport altogether.

Goulamirian was also rumored to be in talks with England’s Richard Riakporhe last year, though the fight never materialized.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox