On Saturday, February 3, 2018, WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs) brought his talents to Corpus Christi, Texas to defend his title against undefeated contender Habib Ahmed (25-1-1, 17 KOs).
In his first fight away from his native Ghana, Ahmed looked to make a statement in his U.S. debut on ESPN.
The fight opened up with Ramirez looking to establish himself as the ring general, but Ahmed handled the pressure well early on. Ahmed seemed to take the more visible blows in the opening rounds, but was never in any real danger. In the third, an accidental headbutt would occur, leaving Ramirez with a cut just above his left eye.
Ramirez continued to press the action despite suffering the cut and in the fifth round, he began to land some pounding blows that caught Ahmed’s attention. Ramirez continued where he had left off and in the sixth began to pummel Ahmed. Ahmed knew no other strategy but to retreat at this point, while Zurdo closed off the ring and continued his barrage, looking to close the show.
Zurdo would succeed and secure the TKO when the Ahmed corner had seen enough and threw in the towel.
“We trained for the knockout and we got it,” said Ramirez after the bout. Ramirez found success both to the body and the head on Ahmed but credited his ability to remain composed for the victory.
“I never felt frustrated in there. I just kept coming forward to him and working the body,” said Ramirez.
Now having made a few defenses of his WBO title, Ramirez is thinking unification for his future bouts.
“I will fight anyone. I want a unification bout. I can go to Europe, England, or wherever,” said Ramirez. “Bob Arum promised me that he could make a fight with the winner of the Super Series Tournament. I want be the best, so I have to fight the best.”
One fighter who has spoken on a matchup with the Mexican champ is WBC Champion, and Ramirez’s friend–David Benavidez.
“I think it’s a great fight for the people, for the division. I would love to fight him,” said Benavidez on the possible matchup.
Only time will tell if we see the dream match before the end of the year.
All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90