The question of whether 23-year-old Mexican super middleweight prospect Gilberto Ramirez (29-0, 23 KOs) is the “real deal” is still open for debate. However, the heavy-handed prospect will be facing what should be his toughest test this Saturday in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas when he takes on hard-hitting and durable Colombian journeyman, Fulgencio Zuniga (27-9-1, 24 KOs).
If Ramirez can make easy work of Zuniga, who has lost four of his last six bouts, but has only been stopped twice in his career (vs. Lucian Bute and Kelly Pavlik in 2008 and 2005, respectively), it would be a nice mark on the young fighter’s still-thin resume.
Despite Ramirez’s lack of big fight experience, though, he has no shortage of bravado and has been calling out countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. almost from the moment he made his professional debut in 2009.
Tall and lanky, with somewhat of a left-handed similarity in style to Chavez Jr., Ramirez has already earned a reputation as a heavy puncher with an immense amount of drive when it comes to his career.
He’s clearly being positioned as the Top Rank replacement for Chavez Jr., who is currently tangled up in a legal battle with the promotional firm, and has been very vocal recently about being the new Mexican on the block.
“I am the real super middleweight from Sinaloa, Mexico,” Ramirez recently said via Desde el Ring. “Chavez is old news. He embarrassed his fans with his recent performance in the Vera fights and his living and training habits.”
The undefeated rising star also hasn’t been shy in calling out all of Chavez’s potential future foes, including Carl Froch.
“After I win this weekend in San Antonio like a true Mexican warrior, all Froch’s promoter has to do is call my promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. Arum told me he will make the fight and Carl Froch’s dream of fighting in Las Vegas will come true. Chavez Jr. is yesterday’s news. So let’s make the fight with a real Mexican warrior that doesn’t only talk about boxing but actually fights the fights.”
Ramirez certainly talks the talk of a real contender, and, so far, he’s been able to walk the walk. But the real challenges are just beginning for “El Zurdo.”