Analysis, feature pieces

Yes, Zurdo Ramirez’s big weight miss at the weekend was a blessing in disguise

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All things considered, Zurdo Ramirez’s massive weight miss – cancelling a matchup against friend and former sparring partner Gabe Rosado last Saturday night – was a blessing in disguise for the former super-middleweight world champion. After suffering a decisive world light-heavyweight title defeat by WBA champion Dmitry Bivol last November, he’s had some decisions to make.

Ramirez has cruiserweight calling after latest transgression

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The pair face off on Thursday during the Long Beach presser, before Ramirez’s weight miss

Gilberto Ramirez (182.6lbs) vs. Gabriel Rosado (173lbs) bout cancelled

Firstly, I hope Gabriel Rosado was recompensated – training camp fees, making weight, pure inconvenience and more – after Gilberto Ramirez’s big weight miss.

The cynic in me is convinced he probably wasn’t, but judging by Golden Boy’s language in their statement, the 37-year-old has the consolation of returning on one of their future shows to make up for an embarrassing development on their part.

On social media, the former WBO super-middleweight champion apologised: “No excuses, I had never missed weight in my 45 pro fights. This is the first and last time, always prided myself on being a pro, this was not my finest moment.

On that note, I’d like to apologise to all my fans and supporters, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN for this unfortunate event. I never gave up trying to make weight, cutting until the final moment, but just couldn’t lose enough to make it.

I am embarrassed, upset by my actions and promise this will never happen again. I will make the right adjustments and be back soon.”

He has shown an ability to command broadcast and analyst work at boxing events, but the two-time former world middleweight title challenger has instead focused more on prolonging a 16-year pro career despite many critics expecting he’d retire.

This would’ve marked a first light-heavyweight appearance, an ominous sign given the high level of opposition he regularly faces right now with limited success.

Boxers and their respective records before Rosado bouts

Ali Akhmedov (18-1)
Shane Mosley Jr (17-4)
Jaime Munguia (37-0), Bektemir Melikuziev (7-0)
2020, 2019
Daniel Jacobs (36-3), Maciej Sulecki (27-1)

Since a R6 TKO over Glen Tapia in October 2017, he’s only won two of his last seven fights – a wide decision against Mexico’s Humberto Gutierrez Ochoa and a surprising third-round KO against then-unbeaten prospect Bektemir Melikuziev.

Gabe Rosado is declared the winner after his fight with Bektemir Melikuziev at Don Haskins Center on June 19, 2021 in El Paso, Texas.

You could argue he’s been competitive against others, but that only amplifies the problem: falling short, absorbing damage aplenty against tougher opposition only serves to diminish him, rather than strengthen his resolve. He is 37, after all.

It’s sad but fitting to describe him as a veteran journeyman because how many, with his 340 rounds’ worth of experience, can argue they’re still at the top of their game?

That’s where Ramirez comes into the picture. 267 professional rounds at 31, and very little to show for it as far as his light-heavyweight title ambitions are concerned.

He said he learned plenty from the Bivol defeat, but judging by his actual comments, the jury’s still out on that.

Dismissing it as a bad night isn’t wise, whether he approached it with an unwise gameplan or not, because most could see from his most recent fights than his chances hinged on more than outboxing an accomplished champion.

At the time of his first professional defeat, I wrote:

Ramirez thought he could outwork Bivol and overwhelm him with volume, throwing a lot (878 punches) with much less accuracy (12.2% total, 21.4% on power shots).

When asked whether he’d be interested in moving up to cruiserweight after falling short here, Zurdo was non-committal and instead said he’d go back to the gym, discuss options with his family and eventually survey the scene.

That is an avenue he should seriously consider. Given he holds a big physical frame even for 175lbs, moving up another division could prove beneficial for his world title ambitions, looking to maximise the rest of his prime years.

Maybe the forward style will bode better on UK soil against the trio of opponents he’s recently namechecked: Callum Smith (#1 WBC), Anthony Yarde (#3 WBC, #6 WBO) and Joshua Buatsi (#1 WBA, #2 WBC and WBO), but they’re all ahead of him in the rankings for different sanctioning bodies. Would the juice be worth the squeeze?

Maybe later down the line, once it’s clearer what Zurdo decides to do. Smith is Artur Beterbiev’s WBC mandatory, Yarde finds himself in rebuild mode after falling short against the Russian two months ago while the goal remains the same for Buatsi too, who has a new promoter in tow – feature coming on that later this week.

Picture source: Getty Images