Home Boxing News Gilberto Ramirez gears up for cruiserweight debut against Joe Smith Jr

Gilberto Ramirez gears up for cruiserweight debut against Joe Smith Jr

Gilberto Ramirez
Gilberto Ramirez

In a battle of former world champions Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez 44-1 (30) will dip his toes into the cruiserweight pool when he takes on Joe ‘Common Man’ Smith Jr 28-4 (22) at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 7.

The 32-year-old Mexican southpaw, who previously held the WBO title at super middleweight, moved up to light heavyweight five years ago in a bid to become a two-weight world champion. He fell short of his goal when he was outpointed by WBA kingpin Dmitry Bivol 21-0 (11) last November.

Now Ramirez will make his cruiserweight debut against former WBO 175-pound champion Smith Jr, who will also be having his first fight in the 200-pound weight class.

“I am ready to take over the cruiserweight division and prove to myself that I can add another championship belt to my resume,” said Ramirez.

“I want to thank all of my fans, Golden Boy, DAZN, the WBA and my entire team that have supported me through this season of change. We are ready to face a hungry opponent in Joe Smith Jr who is used to being an underdog.

“I know both of us wanted this fight at light heavyweight a few years back, but I’m glad we can make it now. See you all in Las Vegas!”

Long Island’s Smith Jr, 33, has not boxed since losing his WBO title to unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev 19-0 (19) by knockout in June last year.

“It feels great to return to the ring in a big way on October 7 against ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez,” said Smith Jr.

“I was having a rough time this year, then we tragically lost my brother Alex on top of it all. I miss him and know he will be with me when I step into that ring. He was always proud of me and he would be happy to see me back.

“I can’t wait to show the world the ‘Common Man’ is back and hope my performance can bring some happiness and inspiration back to my family.”

“For almost 15 years, ‘Zurdo’ beat everyone who stepped into the ring, becoming a world champion and the most feared man in the super middleweight division in the process,” said Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.

“But coming off a loss and with a new weight division to conquer, there is a renewed fire in Zurdo’s eyes. I expect an impressive outing and a first step towards a cruiserweight world championship.”

“We are thrilled to announce the return of Star Boxing’s ‘Common Man’, Joe Smith Jr at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas live on DAZN,” said Joe DeGuardia, CEO of Star Boxing.

“He and his family have had a rough year, but in quintessential Joe Smith fashion, while there were many fights out there for him, he wanted the biggest and toughest challenge available.

“It will once again be champion vs champion as two former world champs go head to head in this intriguing fight. This has all the makings of must see action and I personally look forward to watching Joe back in the ring on October 7th.”

“What an exciting fight this will be between two former world champions,” said Joseph Markowski, CEO North America, DAZN Group.

“Zurdo wanted a tough test and this one – his first at cruiserweight – versus Smith Jr is going to be a very difficult fight for him. You will not want to miss it! Tune in October 7th live from the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, broadcast only on DAZN.”