Hard-hitting Mexican super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez is one of boxing’s most intriguing potential stars. He just needs more experience and more exposure. Hard-hitting Mexican super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez is one of boxing’s most intriguing potential stars. He just needs more experience and more exposure.
The 23-year-old southpaw will get both in his next fight when he takes on Fulgencio Zuniga in a 10-rounder on Nov. 15 in San Antonio. The card will take place at the Alamodome, which will be scaled for about 5,000, and televised on HBO Latino, HBO’s Spanish-language service. I have advocated for years that HBO Latino should be more involved in putting on its own fights rather than just simulcasting HBO’s cards.
Unbeaten super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez of Mexico will step up in class when he faces Fulgencio Zuniga on Nov. 15 in San Antonio.
In the eight-round co-feature, blue-chip featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez, a two-time Mexican Olympian, will face former title challenger Alberto Garza, who on paper represents his toughest test.
It makes sense for HBO to create a card for these fighters on HBO Latino since they are likely to become staples on the main network in the not-too-distant future.
Ramirez (29-0, 23 KOs) has been particularly impressive in recent fights. In April, headlining an ESPN2 card in Las Vegas, he destroyed former title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo, a very experienced opponent, in the fifth round. In July, Ramirez scored a first-round knockout of Junior Talipeau in Macao.
“He has charisma, he has popularity in Mexico, he’s in a good weight class, and he has a very crowd-pleasing style,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said. “It all adds up to a high ceiling.”
Although Zuniga (27-9-1, 24 KOs), 37, of Colombia, has generally lost when he has stepped up in competition, he is known as a durable fighter, going the distance with opponents such as Hassan N’Dam, Alejandro Berrio (whom Zuniga also knocked out), James DeGale, Tavoris Cloud and Thomas Oosthuizen, all since 2010. In 2009, Lucian Bute stopped Zuniga in the fourth round.
Valdez (12-0, 11 KOs), who is also 23, has looked good as he has been brought along in the pros. Although Garza (26-8-1, 21 KOs), 29, of Mexico, has lost three of his last four fights, the defeats have been to quality opponents — decisions against former featherweight titleholder Billy Dib and top prospect Jose Pedraza and a fourth-round knockout challenging titleholder Nicholas Walters.
“Valdez is a young star on the rise who has huge potential,” Moretti said. “He’s crowd-pleasing, bilingual, marketable; he has good skills and he makes good fights. He’s all you look for.”
In an untelevised bout, lightweight Ivan Najera (14-0, 8 KOs), 21, of San Antonio, will face an opponent to be determined in an eight-rounder. According to Moretti, Najera is a possible opponent for prospect Felix Verdejo next year on a televised undercard on HBO or HBO PPV.
A news conference is scheduled for Thursday at the Alamodome to announce the card.