Undefeated former Super Middleweight World Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez returns to the ring on Friday, December 18, challenging North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight champion Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez at Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, live on pay-per-view.
“The Battle of Rio Grande” will be co-promoted by Zurdo Promotions and El Tigre Promotions, the first promotion for each under their respective companies.
Zurdo was asked what he expects fans who tune in to watch the Integrated Sports PPV might see: “Expect a WAR, El Tigre has Mexican blood and inside the ring two Mexicans, it’s guaranteed a WAR. My team and I worked on the game plan together. I believe he is real good he’s never been stopped and he has 10 victories in a row. I trained like a true champ not taking him lightly I think it’s a good for us both at this time.”
Here's how Lopez describes himself, as a pugilist: “I am a boxer mover. You have seen me I can box and move around the ring to offset what he is going to pressure me with. Or at the end of the day, I am Mexican blooded and I can get in there and bang. If it has to turn into forehead to forehead, hey let's go for it. Being me is letting my competitive nature dictate what I do and not getting frustrated with anything.”
Some of you know, Zurdo was with Top Rank, but they split up. He's going his own way, promotionally. “I have been in boxing a long time but I think I made a lot of mistakes and that’s why I made my own promotion company because I want to help young fighters reach their goals as a fighter and as a businessman to let them know how negotiate to reach those goals. Me and Top Rank are still friends. My contract expired and I didn’t want to renew and that’s what happened but I think in the near future we can still work together because he has one champion and potentially another so we will see.”
This event was supposed to drop on the 19th, but it was changed to the 18th. Same night as the GGG fights, versus Kamil Szeremeta. “Nothing controversial, the fans know boxing, they will watch both fights, it really doesn’t matter, we can both fight on the same day and people will still tune in,” Zurdo said. “Boxing is what people want and they are getting it. And GGG, it’s a good thing because the fans want to see boxing, it’s been needed and like I said the fans will be watching all three fights that weekend.”
He is speaking about the Canelo Alvarez bout, the Mexican red-head will battle Callum Smith Saturday, on DAZN. “I know that fight will happen one day,” said Zurdo, when asked about fighting Canelo, “and I’ll just keep winning and do what I do and that fight will happen. I also want to be the face of boxing and I know to be the face of boxing I will have to beat him down the line – I just gotta keep on winning.”
He has also been mentioned as a foe for Dmitriy Bivol. “My team and I, we discussed it (Bivol fight) and decided that Alfonso was the best opponent for us right now. But I think in the near future the Bivol fight will happen, but right now I don’t see beyond and I am focusing on Alfonso,” Zurdo said.
What does Zurdo want to communicate on Friday, in Galveston? “I want to send the message that I am the best light heavyweight in the world and everybody will see on December 18. Alfonso has been winning in his last ten fights in a row and he’s never been stopped and we are going to put on a great show for all the fans.”
Yeah, sounds like he's staying at 175. “I could make 168 if I cut off my leg. But I don’t think I can go back to 168, it is too much on my body and I feel that I would rather move up. Move up to cruiserweight and then heavyweight – why not?”
It makes sense to stay near where Canelo is weighing, though…
“Of course a Canelo fight can happen. Like you say with me and him fighting back-to-back this weekend – people will watch Canelo and they will watch me, and if the fans want to see us fight then we could make that fight happen. Eventually I will reach out to his team and I want to propose to make the fight happen. He has his own promotional team and I have my own promotional team so we can make it happen. If the people want to see the fight and there will be belts, for sure. The Canelo fight would have to be at 175. He already fought at that weight against Sergey Kovalev and I don’t want to go back to that weight. We’d have to fight at the same weight with no rehydration clauses or any of that.”