By Keith Idec
Gilberto Ramirez admits he doesn’t know much about his upcoming opponent.
Ramirez does know that he wants to look better against Ghana’s Habib Ahmed on February 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas, than he did during his last title defense. The unbeaten WBO super middleweight champion overcame mandatory challenger Jesse Hart, but Philadelphia’s Hart survived serious trouble early in their 12-round fight, including a second-round knockdown, to make it very competitive September 22 in Tucson, Arizona.
Mexico’s Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs) won their bout by unanimous decision, but it was close on all three scorecards (115-112, 115-112, 114-113).
“I learned a lot,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Thursday in Corpus Christi. “I don’t wanna do the same mistakes I made. In the gym, I try to be better than before. We’re working on everything I did wrong in the last fight. Those mistakes, I don’t wanna do it the same this time. I’m happy I won that fight, but I saw my fight and I know that I can do better. Right now, we’re working on that, me and my team. This time, we wanna be better, much, much better. When the fight comes, we’re gonna be ready for anything he brings.”
Ahmed is undefeated (26-0-1, 18 KOs), but he hasn’t fought outside of Ghana since he made his pro debut six years ago. He hasn’t beaten a legitimate super middleweight contender, either, yet is ranked No. 6 in the WBO’s 168-pound ratings.
“I don’t know too much about my opponent,” Ramirez said. “But I know he’s a dangerous guy because he has a really good record and most of the fights ended by knockout. I expect a really good fight and for us to put on a great show, like the last time.”
The 26-year-old Ramirez considers Ahmed particularly dangerous “because we don’t know too much about him. But I’ve prepared better than before because I always try to do my best. I don’t wanna disappoint anybody. I wanna keep my belt and stay undefeated, too.”
ESPN will televise the Ramirez-Ahmed match as the main event of a doubleheader from Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi. Phoenix’s Ray Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs) is expected to box an undetermined opponent for the vacant WBO lightweight title in the opening bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.