Undefeated contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) will make his Golden Boy debut in a Mexico vs. Cuba battle as he takes on Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs) in a 12-round light heavyweight fight. The event will take place on Friday, July 9 and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN
Details regarding the venue, which will be in Los Angeles, will be announced shortly.
“There are a lot of major players in the light heavyweight division right now, and Gilberto Ramirez is ready to demonstrate that he is very much among them,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Sullivan Barrera possesses a decorated amateur background and has a lot of experience in this weight class, but Ramirez is totally committed to becoming a two-division champion. Zurdo’s world title campaign and his journey to 50-0 will start on July 9.”
Despite being only 29 years old, Ramirez has over a decade of experience under his belt, debuting as a professional in 2009 and embarking on a career that would see him defeating the likes of Maxim Vlasov, Jessie “Hard Work” Hart and “King” Arthur Abraham, whom he defeated to become the WBO Super Middleweight World Champion. After five defenses of his belt, Ramirez moved up to light heavyweight, where he has scored wins against Thomas “Kryptonite” Karpency and Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez. Ramirez’s goal is to maintain his undefeated streak beyond 50 fights and to become a two-division world champion.
“I’m excited to be headlining this show in Los Angeles with Golden Boy Promotions,” said Gilberto Ramirez. “It’s going to be a great night of boxing with fans back in the stands. I’ve always enjoyed fighting here, and I can’t wait to put on a show to continue my hunt for the light heavyweight championship. I appreciate Oscar and the Golden Boy family for their love and support, and I look will forward to a great night of boxing.”
In 2009, Barrera culminated a spectacular amateur career, defected from Cuba to the United States, and made his professional debut in Miami, Florida. In only his eighth fight, he captured two regional titles by defeating Frank Paines, which he followed with victories against the likes of Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy and Karo Murat. Barrera suffered his first defeat against Andre “S.O.G.” Ward, but returned to score wins against Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy and Joe Smith Jr. The 39-year-old contender has also faced the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Sean Monaghan and Jesse Hart.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to headline such a big card against Gilberto Ramirez,” said Sullivan Barrera. “I know that my opponent is a former world champion with a lot of experience and that he will come very much prepared. However, I feel that I have faced much better opposition. I’ve also spent my entire career in the light heavyweight division, something that will be totally new for him. It will be a difficult fight, but I will walk away with my hands raised in victory.”
In the co-main event, Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (31-1-1, 15 KOs) of South El Monte, California will step up to 135 pounds to take on Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) of La Romana, Dominican Republic in a 12-round bout.
“I’m stepping in for Ryan Garcia to challenge Javier Fortuna,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “I wish him nothing but the best. Mental health is a very important matter that people should deal with. I’m excited and ready to go out there and redeem myself to all my fans. I’m extremely focused and locked in. Fight night is going to be a movie. I’ll be putting the whole 130 and 135-pound division on notice.”
“I’m very happy that Jo Jo Diaz has accepted the challenge to face me, as long as after the fight he makes no excuses for getting knocked out”, said Javier Fortuna. “I give Diaz credit for having the balls to fight me. Devin Haney doesn’t have those balls. But after I win this fight, Haney will have 90 days to find them. Haney can run but he can’t hide. Fight me or give up the WBC title!”