Ramirez still dreams of Canelo confrontation

For a number of years, former WBO 168lbs champion Gilberto Ramirez has been angling for a career-defining battle with countryman Canelo Alvarez.

In theory, that all-Mexico affair should be an easy sell on Canelo’s traditional Cinco De Mayo or Mexican Independence weekend appearances, but the bout has never gained traction despite Ramirez’s glossy 41-0, 27 KOs record and marketable looks.

But ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, 29, still hopes that dream will become a reality in the next couple of years despite moving to 175lbs due to weight-making difficulties. 

Ramirez is scheduled to meet Marcus Browne for the WBC Interim light-heavyweight crown next, with that bout headed to purse bids if an agreement cannot be reached by February 5. He hopes he can tempt Canelo back to 175lbs after a previous foray into the division in 2019 that saw the Mexican boxing icon KO Sergey Kovalev in 11 rounds. Canelo has since relocated to super-middleweight where he currently holds the WBC and WBA Super crowns.

“Anything is possible and it’ll be great for fans if a fight for me against ‘Canelo’ happens,” said Ramirez, who now fights under his own Zurdo Promotions banner following a departure from long-time promoters Top Rank. “With two Mexicans in the ring, you know it’ll be a war from round one. We’ll see what happens in the future.

“We’ll see if [Canelo is] able to do it again [fight at 175lbs]. He’s already fought at that weight once and I don’t see why it should be a problem unless it was a fluke. But I do understand he and his team will have to be a lot more cautious navigating this weight class, compared to the lower divisions, due to the higher risk. Also, we’ve been around each other before and even sparred. He knows I’m not just a Kovalev or a Callum Smith.

“It will be an instant classic and a great way to showcase top-tier Mexican boxing to the world. I think fans will love this battle between Sinaloa [Ramirez] and Jalisco [Alvarez].”