Gilberto Ramirez Makes a Statement With a Dominant Win Over Sullivan Barrera
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is looking to revitalize his career. The former WBO World super middleweight champion went from someone viewed as a rising star in the 168-175 pound divisions to now a mere afterthought. When Ramirez defeated Arthur Abraham to capture the WBO belt in April of 2016, he had the look of a potential force. There were speculations of potential matchups down the road against “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
During his championship reign, the 30-year-old never displayed the fighting form he showed against Abraham. Then there was a nasty dispute with his then-promoter, Top Rank. A once-promising career has now suddenly stalled. After deciding to vacate the title and move up to light heavyweight, Ramirez has signed with Golden Boy Promotions. Ranked in the top 5 by both the IBF and WBO at light heavyweight, “Zurdo” is right in line for a world title shot.
He hopes to revive himself against the tough Sullivan Barrera at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The 39-year-old from Guantanamo, Cuba has been a fixture at 175 for the past five years. He has a well-earned reputation as a durable fighter who makes his opponents work.
Ranked sixth by the WBC at 175, some observers feel he’s on his last leg. Having previously sparred with each other years ago, these men know each other well.
Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs) is faster, taller, longer, and younger. He used those physical advantages to grab a foothold on this battle early. The former 168 pound world champ easily out-boxed Barrera (22-4, 14 KOs) in the first two rounds. Then he found a home for the left to the body. At the end of round three, he put down Barrera with a left hook to the liver. Ramirez smelled blood, and you could tell the end was near.
Sixty seconds into round four, a similar hook to the liver once again put the Cuban on his knees. Barrera was able to rise to his feet, but a final straight left by Ramirez to the pit of the stomach finished matters.
This was the kind of performance Gilberto Ramirez desperately desired. Needing to look impressive, he delivered. Afterward, he called for a fight against WBA “Super” world light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.