Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez doesn’t envision having to clean up any more messes on behalf of his more celebrated countryman.
The unbeaten former WBO super middleweight titlist and current light heavyweight title contender cannot picture a scenario where Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) suffers a second straight defeat. Alvarez returns to the ring and to the super middleweight division, where he defends his undisputed championship in a long-awaited trilogy clash with Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin (42-1-1, 37KOs).
The third bout between the longtime rivals takes place this Saturday on DAZN Pay-Per-View and PPV.com from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The same venue played host to their questionable 12-round draw in September 2017 and Alvarez’s narrow points win in their September 2018 rematch. It was also home to Alvarez’s upset loss to WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs) atop a May 7 DAZN PPV, though Ramirez believes the ingredients are in place for the Mexican superstar to shine bright.
“It’s a great opportunity for Canelo. I think he’s going to knock out Golovkin,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com. “He’s returning to super middleweight, he’s very strong at 168.”
Alvarez became the sport’s first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion following his eleventh-round knockout of unbeaten Caleb Plant last November 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The feat capped an impressive run by Guadalajara’s Alvarez, who bumped three undefeated titleholders—Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Plant—to fully unify the division, and in a span of just eleven months.
The win over Plant extended Alvarez’s unbeaten streak to 16 fights, though coming to a halt in his bitter defeat to Bivol, which was much closer on the scorecards than was suggested by the action in the ring. The silver lining was that Bivol was still available for Ramirez—a 31-year-old southpaw from Mazatlan, Mexico—to enforce his mandatory challenger status for the WBA light heavyweight title at stake in their November 5 clash on DAZN from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ramirez has already vowed to beat Bivol on behalf of Alvarez and for all Mexican boxing fans.
By that point, he believes his own title win will mark as an extension of Alvarez’s own return to glory for their boxing-rich nation.
“I like Golovkin but I think Canelo has to win this fight,” noted Ramirez. “He knows that he needs to win this fight.”
“It’s a great opportunity for Canelo. I think he’s going to knock him out. He’s returning to super middleweight, he’s very strong at 168. I like Golovkin but I think Canelo has to win this fight. He needs to win this fight.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox