By Steve Kim
After winning the WBO super middleweight title last April against Arthur Abraham, Gilberto Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) finally makes the first defense of that belt this Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California versus Max Bursak.
He was initially scheduled to make his first defense last July as part of the Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol pay-per-view, but a hand injury suffered in the summer scuttled the rest of his 2016.
If 'Zurdo' comes out victorious, his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has a particular fight in mind for the statuesque southpaw from Mexico - a showdown with WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs).
Golovkin and his handlers have often expressed their interest in facing Ramirez - if they decide to move up to 168-pounds.
Last week, Arum sat down with Golovkin's promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions to discuss the possibility of that fight - but that depends on some of the other options being explored for GGG.
"I talked to Loeffler as recently as last week, he was in (Washington) D.C. (for the April 8th card at the MGM National Harbor). He obviously is looking at a Canelo (Saul Alvarez) fight which he realizes may never happen. The (Billy Joe) Saunders fight looks very problematic - I think the Kazahk government pulled the money. So we would love for Gilberto to fight Golovkin. I think it's a big fight. I like Ramirez's chances," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
"But we'll have to see. But right now if that doesn't materialize, I think Ramirez would go against one of our other guys, it would be a good fight with Jessie Hart."
It's not clear if Golovkin will face Canelo in the fall so he just might need a dance partner. And Arum says he'd be willing to do the fight sooner rather than later.
"Absolutely," stated Arum. "I talked to Jesus Zapari, my co-promoter and he's all aboard to make that fight next, assuming that (Ramirez) gets through this fight in good shape."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.