The path to a second divisional title has never been clearer for Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
A win is still required for Mexico’s Ramirez to secure a guaranteed shot at WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, with that step being taken this weekend. The former WBO super middleweight titlist faces Germany’s Dominic Boesel in a fight to determine the mandatory challenger to Kyrgyzstan’s Bivol (20-0, 11KOs), whose profile has never been higher following his unanimous decision win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez over the weekend in Las Vegas.
“I want the light heavyweight champions, that has always been the goal to get the big fights,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com of the decision to accept the final title eliminator with Boesel. “I believe those fights will happen.
“With Golden Boy by my side, there have been great conversations about making that happen. All of the champions are presently busy but I am confident these big fights will happen this year.”
Ramirez (43-0, 29KOs) fights for the fifth time as a light heavyweight and his third since signing with Golden Boy Promotions last spring. The purpose of joining forces with the California-based promotional outfit was two-fold—enjoy a rate of activity that can lead to reaching and surpassing 50-0 while still in his prime; and a path that would lead to a shot at a major light heavyweight title.
Golden Boy secured two DAZN headliners for Ramirez in a span of five months, advancing to the number-two position in the WBA rankings. Saturday’s bout with Boesel (32-2, 12KOs)—which takes place at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California—will have a strong case to next challenge for the light heavyweight title, given Bivol’s efforts to turn away Alvarez who otherwise would have tied up the belt for the rest of the year.
Bivol has long represented high-risk, low reward for any other light heavyweight. Bigger opportunities are expected to come following his career-best win over Alvarez. The winner of the June 18 WBC/IBF/WBO unification bout between Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17KOs) and Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22KOs) will also find themselves in high demand.
Either option will do just fine for Ramirez, though the preference is to land a shot at both.
“I am (the best). I want to prove myself,” insists Ramirez. “I want to prove that Zurdo Ramirez will soon be a legend. I want to break all the records and get the title fight. Those fights will happen this year. I am confident of it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox