Light heavyweight contender Yunieski "The Monster" Gonzalez is a little more than a week away from one of the biggest fights of his career - a showdown with former world champion Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez.

It won't be easy for Gonzalez, but the reward of beating Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs) from Mazatlan, Mexico, would be huge for the Cuban, who has a record of 21-3 with 17 KOs.

The fight - being streamed by the DAZN app - has been sanctioned as a WBA final eliminator and takes place on Saturday, December 18 from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

A victory would guarantee Gonzalez a crack at WBA world champion Dmitry Bivol.

"I am going to fight one of the best fighters at the moment. I know that the task is not going to be easy. I feel like a winner, because I never gave up, I always kept fighting, I never said no despite the bad times. I lost the pigmentation in the skin around my eyes because of stress, suffering from crying, from training without feeling like it. But today I'm back and having a great night," Gonzalez told George Ebro.

"[The knockout of] Tommy Karpency was the base [to get this fight], because after that fight they positioned us at number five in the rankings. Maybe when Zurdo's people were looking for an opponent, they saw my name and thought they had found the weakest fighter to continue on the path, but they may run into a big problem that night.

"In a previous interview I had commented that Sullivan Barrera had lost to a tremendous fighter, but that if they gave me the opportunity, I would choose Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev before I'd go with Zurdo, because his style can be complicated. I cannot make mistakes. The plan must be perfect. But I am focused. I have nothing to lose. On December 18, he will experience a war, because I am preparing with everything."