There was an indescribable amount of confidence Gilberto Ramirez displayed, despite standing across the ring from WBA light heavyweight titlist, Dmitry Bivol. With a lengthy championship run at 168 pounds, coupled with five consecutive stoppage victories seven pounds north, Ramirez was of the belief that he and he alone had what it takes to usurp the Russian champion.

However, from the moment the opening bell rang during their November of 2022 showdown, it became painfully clear that Ramirez was in over his head. Following 12 incredibly one-sided rounds, the Mexican star’s record was plastered with its first defeat.

Anxious to rejoin the winner’s circle, Ramirez will officially square off against Gabe Rosado on March 18th. Admittedly, Ramirez is unable to drum up any true animosity toward his upcoming foe. Having shared the ring with the longtime veteran during countless sparring sessions, Ramirez revealed that he reveres his good pal.

“He’s my friend,” said Ramirez to ESNEWS. “He’s a good guy but it’s business.”

Rosado, a battle-tested warrior whose career spans nearly two decades, has faced off against some of the more recognizable names in recent history - including Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, and Jermell Charlo.

Still, while the now 37-year-old has always been willing to take on all-comers, he’ll venture to the light heavyweight division for the first time in his career as he seeks to keep afloat his sinking ship. In addition to coming up short in three consecutive bouts, Rosado (26-16-1, 15 KOs) has posted just two wins in his last eight ring appearances.

But regardless of his current form, Ramirez doesn't exactly view Rosado as an over-the-hill fighter who’s a shell of his former self. Instead, Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) becomes fixated on what Rosado has accomplished throughout his time underneath the bright lights. With a wealth of experience underneath his belt and respect from all of his adversaries, Ramirez is foaming at the mouth to swap fists with such a seasoned pro.

“I grew up watching him. He’s been in boxing for so long. For me, it’s an honor to fight him, nothing but respect.”