Arts » Sports & Recreation

Interview: Boxer Gilberto Ramírez puts 42-0 record on line Saturday at San Antonio's AT&T Center

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Undefeated Mexican boxer Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez will fight Saturday at the AT&T Center. - COURTESY PHOTO / GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS
  • Courtesy Photo / Golden Boy Promotions
  • Undefeated Mexican boxer Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez will fight Saturday at the AT&T Center.
Light heavyweight Mexican boxer Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez (42-0, 28 KOs) will put his undefeated record on the line when he steps into the ring Saturday with Cuban boxer Yunieski “The Monster” González (21-3, 17 KOs) for a 12-round fight at the AT&T Center.

The winner will secure a mandatory challenge for the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship, currently held by Russian boxer Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs). “Ramirez has proven to be among the elite of the division and is ready for a world title fight,” Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said in a statement. “Facing González, a fighter who has never backed down from a challenge, will allow both fighters to secure a shot at the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship. I am excited to return to San Antonio for this event.”

Other matches taking place Saturday night include Seneisa “Super Bad” Estrada (21-0, 8 KOs) vs. Maria “La Imparable” Santizo (9-0, 5 KOs) for the new WBA Minimumweight World title; Lamont Roach Jr. (21-1-1, 9 KOs) vs. Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (32-10, 21 KOs) for the vacant NABA Super Featherweight championship; and Marlen Esparza (10-1, 1 KOs) vs. Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz (31-4, 4 KOs) for the WBC Flyweight World title.

The Current sat down with Ramírez last week to talk about how he plans to stay undefeated, his competitive nature and whether he thinks a fight against Canelo Alvarez will ever happen.

Ramírez vs. González and all the undercard fights will stream live exclusively on DAZN worldwide.

Your last two fights against Sullivan Barrera and Alfonso López were impressive. I’m being facetious, but is your new strategy just to hit your opponent as hard as you can, so they fall to the ground?

(Laughs.) I just want to hit my opponents and break their ribs. That’s what my goal is to do.

The last time you fought in San Antonio was in 2014. What do you look forward to the most coming back?

It’s great to fight in San Antonio. I love the people there. It’s going to be great to be back. I know there’s a lot of Mexican people there — a lot of Latinos. That’s what I want. I want to thank Golden Boy for having me there.

What’s it going to take to stay undefeated?

Kick his ass, that’s it. I’m confident in myself and in my preparation. I want it to be an exciting fight that people will love.

Based on your record, we know that you don’t lose in the ring. What’s the last thing you’ve ever lost at? A card game, maybe?

Ah, I’m really competitive, so I don’t like to lose. The last time I lost was in a football game. It made me feel angry for myself. I told myself, “You have to win! You have to win!” I was playing on a [live TV show], but I had to say some bad words. It was natural. I was like, “Oh, fuck!”

What kind of football are we talking about, like flag football?

No, it was a [video] game on Xbox. I don’t like to play sports outside of the ring. Like I said, I’m really competitive, so I’d probably want to kick [my opponent] or do something to win.

What do you think about this phenomenon happening in the boxing world where fighters are coming out of retirement to get in the ring with MMA fighters or some other pop culture personalities? I find it all very gimmicky. Does it help or hurt the sport?

It’s good and bad. It’s good because the people want to see the fight happen. Sometimes it brings in a new audience. It’s bad because sometimes it hurts boxing. But I think [overall] it’s good for boxing.

I know boxers are criticized all the time when they say no to a fight they should take and, instead, fight a less challenging opponent. Have you ever done that — said no to a fight?

Never. I’m a warrior. I’m a fighter. That’s what I do best: fighting in the ring. I love it. If anyone [challenges me], let’s do it. I want to fight bigger names too, but everything happens for a reason. My time will come.

Is your fellow boxer and countryman Canelo Alvarez someone you look up to, or is he just another potential opponent?

He’s inspiration for me. He’s representing Mexican people. As a fighter, I want to fight him too. He’s one of the best fighters, and I want to fight the best. People want to see that fight happen. I think it will happen, eventually.

How do you think you’d fare fighting against De La Hoya in his prime?

(Laughs.) He’s a legend, but I think I can beat him. He’s the best. I grew up watching him. But in the ring, I don’t respect anyone.

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