By Sean Jones: Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez must reign in his ambitions towards fighting for a world title at cruiserweight because he does not look ready after his lackluster performance against Joe Smith Jr. last Saturday night.
If Golden Boy throws the 32-year-old Ramirez (45-1, 30 KOs) in with IBF cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia (23-0, 18 KOs) or WBA champ Arsen Goulamirian (27-0, 18 KOs), they could live to regret it.
Those champions are at the top of the food chain and would be like ravenous dinosaurs being fed the slow, easy-to-hit, under-powered Ramirez, who would have nothing to fend them off with.
The fight last night against Smith showed that Ramirez is clearly not ready to challenge for a world title unless the idea is for Golden Boy to cash him out and then trim him from the stable.
Ramirez has had a successful 14-year career in which he has navigated around tough opponents in the 168 and 175 weight classes. However, recently, Golden Boy decided to expose him to tougher competition by pitting him against Dmitry Bivol. Unfortunately, Bivol easily defeated Ramirez in what was one of the easiest victories of his career.
Ramirez’s options to capture a cruiserweight belt
- Arsen Goulamirian – WBA
- Jai Opetaia – IBF
- Badou Jack – WBC
- Chris Billam-Smith – WBO
Last Saturday, Ramirez was matched against a non-cruiserweight, Joe Smith Jr., whose confidence had to be at an all-time low after being massacred in two rounds by IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in June 2024.
Smith Jr. (28-5, 22 KOs) exposed the hulking 6’3″ ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez’s lack of power & hand speed in their fight, showing that he’s not going to be able to stand his ground against any of the four cruiserweight champions to try and capture a title.
Ramirez needs to slowly work his way up the cruiserweight ladder before taking on one of the champions because he’s NOT even close to being ready.
Before fighting for a world title, Zurdo Ramirez should fight some of these lower-ranked contenders at cruiserweight:
- Marcus Browne
- Mairis Briedis
- Noel Gevor
- Yuniel Dorticos
- Krzysztof Glowacki
- Richard Riakporhe
- Thabiso Mchunu
From what Ramirez showed against Smith Jr, he needs a lot more work before he’s ready to challenge for a world title at cruiserweight. Obviously, Ramirez can’t do anything about his lack of hand speed, but he can improve his power & defensive ability.
What he needs is to dump his current trainers, get with Eddy Reynoso, Canelo Alvarez’s coach, and have him work his magic on his power like he’d done with the red-haired superstar to improve this major flaw in his game.
Last night’s Ramirez-Smith Jr. fight looked like it should have been scored a ten-round draw, as the former WBO light heavyweight champion Smith Jr. landed the cleaner & much harder shots throughout the fight.
Smith fought well enough to win five rounds, as Gilberto gassed out in the second half of the fight and fled the battlegrounds, showing the same yellow steak we’d observed in his recent loss to Dmitry Bivol.