Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez staked his claim as a serious Light Heavyweight contender with a dominant stoppage win over Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera from Banc of California Stadium on Friday, July 9, 2021 as he improves to 42-0.
Barrera (22-4, 14 KOs )was almost stopped in the third round when he was dropped by a left hook to the body, but the end came just a round later when Barrera was dropped twice by body shots was finally stopped at 1:38 of round 4.
“My performance was great,” Ramirez said in his post-fight interview. “(Dmitry) Bivol, you’re next.”
Barrera stuck to his game plan perfectly, which was backing up Zurdo to prevent him from getting off his crisp 1-2 combinations.
After two rounds, it was still competitive and in the third, it appeared that Barrera was starting to find his groove. In retrospect rather, it appears that he was being set up by Zurdo for the end game check mate.
It was then that Ramirez, who wore his trademark cowboy hat during his ring entrance, got back in the saddle and ready for battle. Sans the cowboy hat he wore in his dramatic ring entrance, Ramirez was all business. He struck Barrera with a thunderous body shot that caused Barrera to step awkwardly away before collapsing on all fours to the canvas.
It might have been the end right there but, Barrera got to his feet, only to face another barrage from Ramirez. Barrera survived the round, but only barely.
Maybe it was the power. Maybe it was the layoff. Maybe it was the rise of a new 175-pound king. Whatever it was, Zurdo Ramirez was simply too much for Sullivan Barrera on Friday night.
Barrera’s future in boxing is unclear. Conversely, Ramirez is a rising star whose record at 42-0 is close to breaking Floyd Mayweather‘s largely symbolic record of 50-0.
“I want it all of possible the titles and [the record],” Ramirez said in a post fight press conference.
While promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who signed Ramirez ahead of this fight, has talked of taking a shot at Mayweather’s record, such a course is a low-risk option.
Ramirez pitted against Dmitry Bivol in a 175-pound title fight is the fight that fans want. Weather the politics of boxing will allow the fight to go through is another issue.
There are other big potential fights as well. A Ramirez clash with pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez is another possibility. Famously, Ramirez roughed up Canelo in a legendary sparring session which is part of boxing lore. Though sparring and a world title fight are different enterprises entirely.
It was the second boxing event held at the stadium after a 2019 card featuring Emanuel Navarrte’s victory over Franciso De Vaca.