Broadcast team announced for “Battle of Rio Grande” PPV
Zurdo Promotions has announced stellar broadcast teams and ring announcer working its December 18th “Battle of Rio Grande” pay-per-view card, headlined by the ring return of 40-0 (26 KOs) Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, airing live from Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas.
Veteran combat sports blow-by-blow announcer Sean Wheelock will captain the English-speaking broadcast team with former pro wrestler turned combat sports color analyst Matt Striker, and former NFL placekicker and respected ringside reporter Benny Ricardo will conduct pre-and-post fighter interviews. Ricardo will be joined in the same role on the Spanish language broadcast including blow-by-blow announcer Ernesto Armador and color analyst Mario Abel Cazares (12-0, 5 KOs), the undefeated light heavyweight who defeated Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. this past September, and defeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the amateurs. Colorful Jeff Houston will serve as ring announcer.
“Thanks to Mike Weber and the FITE team,” said Ramirez, also head of Zurdo Promotions. “I’m looking forward to working with all the announcers and commentators that we have on this show. All of them have tremendous experience from multiple backgrounds in the NFL, NBA, MMA, and even Bare Knuckle (which looks like fun and I would consider doing in the future), and I’m excited they’re part of it.”
“I’ve heard and know some of them very well and would love to learn from them to become a commentator or an announcer myself in the future.”
Ramirez, a former world super middleweight champion, will challenge North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight titlist Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-3, 25 KOs) in the 10-round main event, and world-rated heavyweight and 2012 U.S. Olympian, Michael “The Bounty” Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs), meets West Virginia’s Shawn Laughery (10-3, 6 KOs in the 10-round co-featured event.
“Battle of Rio Grande” will be available for live viewing on digital, cable and satellite, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on pay per view for a suggested retail price of only $24.99. FITE will stream worldwide on the FITE mobile apps, all major OTT apps and website (www.FITE.tv), and Integrated Sports Media will distribute throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, and DISH in the United States, as well as in Canada on Shaw and SaskTel.
Undefeated former Super Middleweight World Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez returns to the ring on Friday, December 18, challenging North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight champion Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez at Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, live on pay per view.
“The Battle of Rio Grande” will be co-promoted by Zurdo Promotions and El Tigre Promotions, the first promotion for each under their respective companies.
Tickets to RAMIREZ vs. LOPEZ, priced at $65, $135, $250, and $400 for VIP, go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, November 26, at 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT and can be purchased at https://zurdopromotions.events.com/
“I’m looking forward to hosting my first fight and appreciate all the support and love I’ve received,” said Ramirez. “I want to give special thanks to FITE.TV, El Tigre Promotions, Be Def Sports, and the state of Texas for being great partners in this event. I feel better than ever thanks to my trainers, Julian Chua, Joel Flores, and Chris Wong, for keeping me in shape since my last fight.
“I can’t wait to step back in the ring in what will be a great weekend for boxing fans. Canelo knows our paths will eventually cross, and it won’t be pretty for him, but in the meantime, I’ll see you guys on December 18 in Texas!”
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs), fighting out of Mazatlán, Mexico, became the first Mexican super middleweight world champion by defeating World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Arthur Abraham on April 9, 2016.
Zurdo pitched a shutout in what was his first world title fight, winning all twelve rounds on all three judges’ scorecards. A year out of the ring followed, Ramirez had five successful title defenses, three against undefeated boxers, in the next 18 months.
Amongst the defeated: Maksym Bursak by unanimous decision, Jesse Hart by unanimous decision, Habbi Ahmed by TKO-6, Roamer Alexis Angulo by unanimous decision, and Jesse Hart once again, this time by majority decision.
Zurdo then moved up to light heavyweight and beat Tommy Karpency on April 12, 2019, whose corner threw in the towel four rounds.
Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-2, 25KOs), born in Corpus Christi now residing in Huntsville, Texas, has won his last ten bouts; only two went the distance.
The former Texas State Super Middleweight Champion won the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas super middleweight title in 2010.
His ten-fight win streak began with a first-round KO over Sean Wilson on October 18, 2014. On July 13, 2019, Lopez won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) NABO light heavyweight title; and in his last fight on November 16, 2019, he won the NABF light heavyweight title, which he will defend on December 18.
Headlining the undercard will be a heavyweight clash between Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, ranked top ten in the world, and former World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas champion Chauncy “Hillyard Hammer” Welliver.
Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas is rated #4 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), #7 WBO, #10 WBC, and World Boxing Association – in addition to being ranked # 8 by The Ring magazine.
Hunter’s last bout was a 12-round split decision draw in Saudi Arabia against former world heavyweight champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Alexander Povetkin.
The well-traveled Welliver (57-13-5, 23 KOs) from Spokane, Washington, has won numerous regional titles worldwide, including FECARBOX, WBO Asia Pacific, WBO Oriental, WBC Latino, New Zealand, and had seven successful defenses of the Continental Americas heavyweight title.
“Battle of Rio Grande” will be available for live viewing on digital, cable, and satellite, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on pay per view for a suggested retail price of only $24.99. FITE TV will stream worldwide on the FITE app and website (www.FITE.tv). Integrated Sports Media will distribute throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH in the United States and Canada on Shaw and SaskTel.