By Ryan Burton
On Monday, Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez's trainer Hector Zapari responded to comments made by newly crowned IBF interim super middleweight champion Jose "Bolivita" Uzcategui's agent Sean Gibbons. The Las Vegas based Gibbons used to be part of Ramirez's team.
Gibbons said that Uzcategui would make Ramirez,"look like an amateur. Zurdo is an amateur compared to this guy. This is a real super middleweight."
Uzcategui captured the interim title on Saturday night when he stopped Andre Dirrell in a rematch of their 2017 fight that ended controversially when Uzcategui was disqualified after landing a three punch combination as the bell sounded to end the 8th round.
Ramirez's trainer fired back by saying that Uzcategui isn't on his fighter's level and that he would destroy him.
Zapari is very happy for Uzcategui who along with Ramirez and David Benavidez are either champions or interim champions in a division that hasn't traditionally been deep with Latino fighters. In fact, Ramirez became the first Mexican champion in the history of the division when he won his title in 2016.
"I am happy for Uzcategui. I am happy that another Latino is making noise, winning an interim title at 168 pounds. I hope he continues representing Latinos in this division but he is getting a little ahead of himself if he thinks he can beat everyone at 168 because he isn't the best fighter in the division. Dirrell isn't the same fighter he used to be with the inactivity he has had in recent years," Zapari told BoxingScene.com.
"It would be nice if Bolivita can win the full IBF title and then unify with Zurdo because Zurdo will make him look like an amateur and make him disappear."
Uzcategui, who is from Venezuela and lives in Mexico, is now the mandatory challenger to the winner of the Caleb Truax-James DeGale rematch winner that is for the full IBF super middleweight challenger that should be announced in the near future so he should get a shot at the winner by the end of the year.
Zapari doesn't believe that the nearly 6'3" Ramirez will be able to stay in the division too much longer and wants to face the winner of the World Boxing Super Series or another champion before moving up to the light heavyweight division.
"We want the biggest fights possible now because we don't have a whole lot of time at 168 pounds. We have at most 2 years left in this division and we don't want to lose any more time. We want unification fights and if we can't get those fights then we will look at 175 pounds because Zurdo deserves the big fights and want to see him fight with Benavidez, Bolivita, and the WBSS tournament winner,' said Zapari. "It is time for Bob Arum to make it happen. We are doing our part and now our promoter needs to do his part to bring Zurdo to the level he deserves."
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