Gilberto Ramirez: The Forgotten Champion
Many people may not know this, but the first Mexican super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26ko) will be facing relatively unknown Alfonzo “El Tigre” Lopez (32-3, 25ko) on December 18.
If you did not know anything about his upcoming bout, do not feel bad. The majority of the boxing community are unaware of it also. Moreover, the reason behind it is simple: it is not on any major network. Furthermore, it is being promoted by Ramirez’s own company, Zurdo Promotions
LEAVING AT THE WRONG TIME
Yes, you are reading this right. The former champion severed ties with powerhouse promotional company Top Rank back in July. Ramirez would decide to move up to light heavyweight after a successful title defense in a rematch against Jesse Hart (26-3, 21ko) back in 2018.
However, Ramirez, in a perplexing move, also parted ways with his former promoter Bob Arum. Now what made this even more of a head-scratcher was the fact at the light heavyweight division, his former employer basically controls all the pieces on the board.
This move to leave can be viewed as a bad move, and the reality is apparent when you look at the rankings. For some odd reason, the WBO has him ranked #7. Normally, the rules of the organization say that a former champion of a lower division automatically gets the mandatory slot when they move up.
THE FORGOTTEN CHAMPION
Now a free agent, the struggle is real for the former Mexican champion. Furthermore, he is ranked inside the top ten by all three major sanctioning bodies. But any chances of him fighting for a title are extremely slim, considering all roads lead to his former boss.
There are lots of fighters who were able to break free from Top Rank and be successful; Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, and of course, Floyd Mayweather. Even Saul “Canelo” Alvarez recently decided to become a solo act, leaving Golden Boy Promotions. Nevertheless, all of them had already cemented their legacy in the sport of boxing.
Ramirez does not possess anything close to the same amount of relevancy as any of the previously named fighters. Nothing makes this more obvious than the fact that he is fighting for the NABF light heavyweight title. Even as a former champion, at this point in his career, this was all his name was able to generate. This set of circumstances says it all.
It will be interesting to see how Ramirez deals with the politics of boxing, and without a major entity in his corner, it can be difficult. However, if he keeps on winning, eventually, a door will open.
By: Garrisson Bland