Former world champs collide on Saturday, Oct 7, as Joe Smith (28-4, 22 KOs) meets Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) in a step-up for both to the cruiserweight division.
The 12-round clash, presented in association with Star Boxing, will unfold at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and live around the world on DAZN.
Ex WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez seeks to become a two-division titleholder.
He holds wins over Maxim Vlasov, Jessie “Hard Work” Hart and “King” Arthur Abraham, whom he beat to become the WBO Super Middleweight World Champion.
Zurdo Coming To Joe Smith Fight Off Loss
His lone loss came in his last bout, versus Dmitriy Bivol last November 2022.
“I am ready to take over the cruiserweight division and prove to myself that I can add another championship belt to my resume,” said Gilberto Ramirez in a release.
“I want to thank all of my fans, Golden Boy, DAZN, the WBA, and my entire team that have supported me through this season of change. We are ready to face a hungry opponent in Joe Smith Jr. who is used to being an underdog. I know both of us wanted this fight at light heavyweight a few years back, but I’m glad we can make it now. See you all in Las Vegas!”
Ex Champion Joe Smith Jr. became WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion when he beat Maxim Vlasov in April 2021.
He defended his title against Steve Geffrard in January 2022 and then lost to Artur Beterbiev in a unification fight on June 18, 2022. Yes, he’s faced adversities and general weirdness along the way, more than a fair share, actually.
Joe Smith has wins over Bernard Hopkins, former world champion, Eleider Alvarez, and title contenders Jessie Hart and Andrzej Fonfara.
“It feels great to return to the ring in a big way on October 7 against ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez,” said Joe Smith Jr in a release.
Joe Smith Touched By Loss
“I was having a rough time this year, then we tragically lost my brother Alex on top of it all. I miss him and know he will be with me when I step into that ring. He was always proud of me and he would be happy to see me back.
“I can’t wait to show the world the Common Man is back and hope my performance can bring some happiness and inspiration back to my family.”
“‘For almost 15 years, ‘Zurdo’ beat everyone who stepped into the ring, becoming a world champion and the most feared man in the Super Middleweight division in the process,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya.
“But coming off a loss and with a new weight division to conquer, there is a renewed fire in Zurdo’s eyes. I expect an impressive outing and a first step towards a cruiserweight world championship.”
“We are thrilled to announce the return of Star Boxing’s ‘Common Man,’ Joe Smith Jr. at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas live on DAZN,” said Star Boxing’s CEO Joe DeGuardia.
“He and his family have had a rough year, but in quintessential Joe Smith fashion, while there were many fights out there for him, he wanted the biggest and toughest challenge available.
“It will once again be Champion vs Champion as two former world champs go head to head in this intriguing fight. This has all the makings of must see action and I personally look forward to watching Joe back in the ring on October 7th.”
“What an exciting fight this will be between two former World Champions,” said Joseph Markowski, CEO North America, DAZN Group.
“Zurdo wanted a tough test, and this one-his first at cruiserweight-vs Joe Smith Jr. is going to be a very difficult fight for him. You will not want to miss it! Tune in October 7th live from the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, broadcast only on DAZN.”
Zurdo vs. Joe Smith Jr. is a 12-round cruiserweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Star Boxing. The event will be available worldwide to all subscribers on DAZN, both live and on demand.