A matchup of former world titleholders Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and Joe Smith Jr., who are both coming off losses, last year is being arranged for October.
That’s according to our insider Dan Rafael from his substack and on our most recent “Big Fight Weekend Preview” podcast.
First from Dan’s “Fight Freaks Unite” substack:
“Ramirez promoter Golden Boy and Smith promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing are in the process of finalizing the fight, which is due to take place in early October in Las Vegas, sources with knowledge of the deal told Fight Freaks Unite on Thursday.
The bout would headline a Golden Boy card on DAZN and take place at a contract weight still being hammered out but one that will be in the 190s as an accommodation to Ramirez, the sources said.”
We discussed the proposed bout and the motivations for both Ramirez and Smith on our latest podcast, which you can hear by simply pressing play below,
The 32 year old Ramirez, 44-1, 30 KOs, is the former WBO super middleweight titleholder. He moved up to light heavyweight in 2019 winning his five of bouts by knockout and positioned him to meet WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, as the mandatory challenger.
Zurdo was no match for Bivol
Ramirez met Bivol last November, but was completed dominated in a lopsided 12 round decision that took place in Abu Dhabi. He was to have returned from the Bivol loss in March against Gabriel Rosado in a DAZN/Golden Boy light heavyweight main event in Long Beach, California, However, Ramirez was embarrassingly nearly eight pounds overweight and did not even attend the weigh-in.
The fight was canceled and according to Rafael’s post, Ramirez lost his $400,000 purse and his “weight fiasco” also dramatically altered the Golden Boy card that still went on the next night without it’s headlining fighter.
As for Smith, 28-4, 22 KOs, the 33 year old from Long Island, NY, he had won the vacant WBO light heavyweight title in April 2021 via a close, controversial decision over another Russian, Maxim Vlasov. Smith defended the title once in stopping Steve Geffrard in January 2022.
However, in June last year, Smith was given a marquee Top Rank Boxing/ESPN main event at the Madison Square Garden Theater. But, he was wiped out in less than two rounds by the WBC/IBF champion Beterbiev.
Rafael further reports, that Smith, who has not boxed since the Beterbiev fight, also is dealing with the murder of his younger brother, Alex, who was shot and killed in May in Mastic Beach, New York.
It’s believed that Ramirez wants to continue to compete at cruiserweight in his future.