Undefeated former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Middleweight Champion (WBO) Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs), who will be making his debut as a member of Golden Boy’s stable, goes for his 42nd professional victory July 9th against world light heavyweight title challenger Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs).
Zurdo vs. Barrera, presented by Golden Boy Promotions, will be streamed exclusively on DAZN, live from Banc of California Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Football Club (pro soccer), located in downtown Los Angeles.
“I’m very excited to make my debut with Golden Boy,” Ramirez said. “LA’s the home to many Latinos and I can’t wait to share the moment with my people.
“Every fight is the most important fight of my career. Obviously, the goal is to dominate the division and become world champ, and I do believe this match-up versus Barrera is a step in the right direction.”
There will be World title implications for the winner of the 12-round Zurdo vs. Barrera main event. Ramirez is ranked No. 3 by the World Boxing Council (WBA) and WBO, as well as No. 5 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), which rates Barrera at No. 7 in the world.
Ramirez, 29, was the first Mexican fighter to capture a World super middleweight title, which he relinquished to move up to the light heavyweight division. He is 2-0 (2 KOs) as a 175-pounder, defeating Tommy Karpency (29-6-1) on April 12, 2019, when Karpency was unable to continue fighting after four rounds, along with a 10th round stoppage of Alphonso Lopez (32-3) last December to capture the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) crown.
The 39-year-old Barrera was a decorated Cuban amateur boxer (285-27 record), who was the middleweight gold medalist at the 2000 AIBA Junior World Championships. Barrera, who defected to the United States in 2009 and settled in Miami, beat future pro world champions such as Chad Dawson, Beibut Shumenov and Mariano Natalio Carrera.
During the course of his 12-year pro career, Barrera is 3-3 vs. past or present world champions having defeated Jeff Lacy (WTKO4), Karo Murat (WKO12) and Felix Valera (WDEC10), losing to current WBA Super and IBF World light heavyweight champions, respectively, Dmitry Bivol (TKO12) and Joe Smith Jr. (DEC10), in addition to Hall of Famer Andre Ward (DEC 12).
“Barrera is a tough Cuban veteran with world-class experience,” Ramirez added. He’s fought the best in the past and shown why he’s been in many title fights against them. He even had a one-sided victory over the current WBO champions, Joe Smith, Jr.”
Jesse Hart is the only common opponent; Ramirez won a pair of decisions in World super middleweight title fights against Hart, while Sullivan lost a 10-round light heavyweight decision to the Philadelphia boxer.
Tickets are priced at $150, $100, $75, $50 and $35, excluding applicable service charges, and available to purchase at www.bancocaliforniastadium and www.ticketmaster.com.
Ramirez vs Barrera: “Zurdo” fighting for his legacy
Only five boxers have started their professional careers with a 50-fight win streak and the contemporary leader, 41-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is on a mission to join the exclusive club, continuing July 9th in Los Angeles against Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs).
Ramirez, who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, was the first Mexican-born super middleweight World champion, and he is currently the No. 3 rated light heavyweight in the world, by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).
Although he won’t turn 30 until June 19, Ramirez has been fighting professionally for nearly 12 years, and one of his goals is to become a World champion in two different weight classes. Another is joining his idol and fellow Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez in the 50-0 Club, in which he is No. 1 having amazingly won his first 87 pro fights. The first blemish on his pro record was a 12-round majority draw with the great Pernell Whitaker in 1993 in their WBC World welterweight title fight.
“Getting to 50-0 is very important, but I’m more interested in being able to fight the fights the fans want,” Ramirez said. “I’ve never turned down a fight and have made it clear to all the fighters I want. I look across the division and none of these fighters are on my level”
Chavez moved ahead of featherweight icon Will Pep at 62, No. 2 on the contemporary list, compiled in less than three years dating back to the 1940’s. Pep lost for the first time as a pro to Sammy Angott by 10-round decision in 1943.
Thailand mini-flyweight Wanheng Menayothin, originally a Muay Thai fighter, had his streak snapped last November at 54 by Panya Pradabsri.
Another Mexican boxer is in the 50-0 Club, No. 4 Carlos Zarate, who reached 52 straight victories off his pro debut, 51 by knockout, in the 1970’s. Zarate was stopped in his 53rd fight by Puerto Rican star Wilfredo Gomez in the fifth round of their 1978 WBC super bantamweight World championship match.
The only member of the exclusive 50-0 Club to retire undefeated is Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. in fifth place with 50.
The four inactive boxers in the club – Chavez, Pep, Zarate, and Mayweather – are inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Rocky Marciano and Brian Nielson (49), Larry Holmes (48), Ricardo Lopez (47), Joe Calzaghe (46-0) and Jim Barry (45) all came close to 50-0 memberships. Lopez (51-0-1) fought a draw in his 48th pro fight with Rosendo Alvarez.
Ramirez is closing in on boxing history as he fights for his legacy. Five years after he retires, “Zurdo” should rightfully join the four Hall of Famers who are presently ahead of him on the 50-Club list.
BOXING’S 50-0 CLUB
- Julio “J.C. Cesar Chavez 87 (13 KOs) 1980-1993 Mexico
- Willie “Wil ‘o The Wisp” Pep 62 (23 KOs) 1940-1943 USA
- Wanheng Menayothin 54 (18 KOs) 2009-2019 Thailand
- Carlos “Canas” Zarate 52 (51 KOs) 1970-1978 Mexico
- Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. 50 (27 KOs) 1996-2017 USA