Since moving up to light heavyweight Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is a new man. Everyone of his five bouts at his new weight class has ended in a stoppage, and his new promoter, Golden Boy Promotions seemingly have him on the path to be a Mexican star mentioned in the same conversation as Canelo Alvarez.
Let’s stop right there.
Alvarez shocked the world with a very vague statement.
“I don’t want to fight with Mexicans,” said Canelo Alvarez.
This is a far cry from his pay-per-view clash five years ago against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., built on Mexican pride.
The former super middleweight World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez was confused by this as Canelo is the fight he has been targeting after his upcoming clash with Dmitry Bivol, with Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title being on the line Nov.5th, in Abu Dhabi, live on DAZN.
“It’s tough,” Ramirez told The DAZN Boxing Show in a confused tone. “People want to see two Mexicans in the ring. I don’t care who’s a rival. For me, I want to fight and chase the biggest fights, like this one, [against] Bivol. I don’t know what he wants. He say he represents Mexico, but I think as a fighter we have to fight anyone.”
I think the disconnect is that some of the best fights in boxing history have been battles in which two Mexican fighters have faced each other, examples of Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Erik Morales, Israel Vasquez vs. Rafael Marquez, Jesus Castillo vs. Ruben Olivares Carlos Zarate vs. Alfonso Zamora, and more. These bouts were built around pride, and Mexico got behind them.
“No, I don’t understand,” Ramirez continued. “I don’t get it. People want to see two Mexicans in the ring, right? Barrera-Morales, people want to see those types of fights. For me, I don’t care. I want to fight all the best, I want to fight anyone.”
Ramirez, who is more relevant than he was when he was a world champion, is now battling the fact that potential the most iconic fighter around his division, and the biggest fight to be made near his weight - might not fight him if he wins on November 5th.
A telling reminder that boxing is often the world of the person with the most political capital who is powerful, and the rest of the division just inhabits it.
Interesting to see how this turns out.