Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez Looking to Make History in WBA Cruiserweight Title Fight Against Arsen Goulamirian

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is looking to make history…

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, who held the WBO super middleweight title from 2016 to 2019 and is the first boxer from Mexico to win a major world title in that weight class, will attempt to become the heaviest Mexican champion of all time when he challenges Armenia’s Arsen Goulamirian for the WBA cruiserweight title on Saturday in Inglewood, California.

Gilberto "Zurdo" RamirezRamirez (27-0, 19 KOs) is a former 168-pound titleholder who will compete at the 200-pound limit for the first time as he looks to make history as the first Mexican champion above 175 pounds.

Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s top star, won a title at 175 in 2019 when he knocked out Sergey Kovalev.

But there has never been a Mexican-born champion at cruiserweight (200 pounds) or heavyweight (Andy Ruiz defeated Anthony Joshua for the unified heavyweight championship in 2019, but he’s a Mexican American boxer born and raised in Southern California).

“It’s something special because we never have [had] a Mexican [champion] that big,” Ramirez told ESPN. “… [A win] will be big for me, for all the fans in Mexico, for all the people. I think it’s history.”

Ramirez (45-1, 30 KOs) suffered his first career defeat when he challenged light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in November 2022. Afterward, Ramirez moved up to cruiserweight for a 193-pound catchweight decision win over Joe Smith in October.

The cruiserweight division has mostly been an afterthought in the U.S. since it was introduced in 1979. The legendary Evander Holyfield starred in the division as champion from 1986 to 1988 before he moved to heavyweight. And ever since, the cruiserweights have mostly been dormant stateside while being featured across Europe.

“We’ve never had a big, major rivalry or a big-name fighter at cruiserweight the way we’ve had with middleweights and heavyweights,” Ramirez’s promoter, Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya, told ESPN. “So I think that weight class just kind of gets lost in the shuffle a bit. But I think Zurdo has an opportunity here … if he looks great.”

Ramirez, who is 6-foot-2½, said he walks around between 210 and 215 pounds and believes he will have more power in his new weight class. ESPN’s No. 6 cruiserweight, Ramirez is a -215 favorite to defeat Goulamirian, per ESPN BET.

Goulamirian (27-0, 19 KOs) hasn’t competed since November 2022 and is now being trained by Abel Sanchez, who built Gennadiy Golovkin into a star boxer.

Goulamirian has made three title defenses, and all but three of his bouts have taken place in France. “This is my first fight in [the] United States and I am planning to put on a show,” Goulamirian, 36, said through his new adviser, Sam Katkovski.

“Cruiserweight has not been a division [that’s] popular in [the] United States, but I plan on changing that on Saturday.”

Joel Iriarte, a 17-time national amateur champion, will make his professional debut on the DAZN undercard after he signed with De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions earlier this month.

Canelo Alvarez to Fight Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas in May

May the Fourth be wih Canelo Alvarez.

The 33-year-old Mexican boxing superstar has finalized a deal to fight Jaime Munguia on May 4 fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight championship.

Canelo AlvarezIt’s a one-fight deal for Alvarez and Premier Boxing Champions, sources said, after the sides parted ways last week with two bouts remaining on a three-fight agreement signed last June.

It’s a coup for PBC to welcome Alvarez, boxing’s top star, back into the fold for its second pay-per-view offering as part of its new partnership with Amazon‘s Prime Video.

DAZN, the streaming service that has an exclusive deal with Golden Boy Promotions, will also carry the event.

Munguia’s past 12 fights were streamed by DAZN. The 27-year-old Mexican fighter has been co-promoted by Zanfer and Golden Boy.

“On May 4, I’ll be fighting Jaime Munguia at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” Alvarez posted on social media. “Mexico vs. Mexico!”

Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) is coming off a career-best win, a ninth-round TKO of John Ryder in January. He has steadily improved under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

Now, Munguia will represent Alvarez’s first Mexican opponent since Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017. Munguia is rated No. 4 by ESPN at 168 pounds.

Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, was lined up for a championship defense against Jermall Charlo in May. However, Alvarez and PBC couldn’t agree to terms for the matchup, which contractually allowed him to explore other options.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) discussed a return to DAZN for bouts with Munguia and Edgar Berlanga this year, but when those talks stalled the champion returned to the table with PBC, sources said.

Alvarez plans to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September as well.

Alvarez defeated Jermall’s twin brother, Jermell Charlo, via unanimous decision in September to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship as he kicked off the PBC partnership.

When the deal was signed in June, Jermall Charlo was lined up as the first opponent before he ultimately withdrew because of personal matters. Jermell stepped in, while Jermall and Errol Spence Jr. loomed as possibilities for the second and third bouts of the deal. That was before Spence was TKO’d by Terence Crawford in a one-sided beatdown in July, eliminating one viable opponent for Alvarez.

Then in November, Jermall failed to impress in a decision win against Jose Benavidez Jr. The bout was Charlo’s first in 29 months. It’s a big event any time Alvarez fights, but there was little commercial demand for a matchup with another Charlo after Jermell’s listless performance in September.

With an Alvarez-Charlo fight less appealing for May, the door opened for what promises to be a far more lucrative matchup with Munguia. Alvarez has been the sport’s top attraction since Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired in 2017.

The all-time great’s résumé includes a pair of wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and titles in four weight classes. His win over Charlo was preceded by a decision victory over Ryder in May in Mexico. Alvarez scored knockdowns in both fights.

The biggest potential fight out there for Alvarez remains a matchup against rising star David Benavidez.

“The reason why this fight is not happening is because Alvarez doesn’t want it to happen, plain and simple,” David Benavidez told ESPN last week.

PBC’s stable also includes star boxer Gervonta Davis, who is set to return vs. Frank Martin this summer. PBC’s first event with Prime Video will take place March 30 in Las Vegas, a pay-per-view headlined by Keith Thurman vs. Tim Tszyu.

Jose Ramirez Signs Multi-Fight Deal with Golden Boy Promotions

Jose Ramirez is entering his Golden era….

The 31-year-old Mexican American former unified junior welterweight titlist has signed a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions.

Jose RamirezThe newly formed deal was announced during the Vergil OrtizFredrick Lawson DAZN broadcast from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

“I’m ready to be a two-time world champion, and do it right now as well as stay active this year,” said Ramirez. “I felt Oscar [de la Hoya] and Golden Boy could deliver both immediately as well as some big fights at this point in my career that I want. This is the most motivated I have been since I turned pro.”

Ramirez and Ortiz are both managed by Rick Mirigian, who also recently brought over Arnold Barboza to the Golden Boy family. Barboza won via technical knockout after nine rounds in his Golden Boy debut Saturday evening.

“We know our value, and had to get a plan,” said Mirigian. “Golden Boy stepped up and showed that Jose would be a priority to them with the deal he was given. The fights that can now be made at 140 in house are among the best in all of the sport, as Golden Boy has now taken a strong hold on the most exciting division in boxing.”

Terms of the deal were not revealed. Boxing Scene reports that Ramirez could potentially challenge for the WBA junior welterweight title within his next couple of fights, depending on how the process plays out regarding current beltholder Rolando Romero and whether he next defends against the interim titlist.

Regardless, it’s a fresh start for Ramirez (28-1, 18KOs), who fought just once in each of the past four years.

An eleventh-round knockout of Richard Commey last March 25 in Fresno, California—the heart of Ramirez’s fan base as he hails from nearby Avenal—marked the final fight of his near 12-year-run with Top Rank. Ramirez signed with the Las Vegas-based outlet shortly after he represented the U.S. during the 2012 London Olympics.

During that time, Ramirez emerged as a sizeable draw in California’s Central Valley and won the WBC and WBO titles at junior welterweight. He came up just short versus then-unbeaten Josh Taylor in their May 2022 undisputed championship clash at Virgin Hotels, where he was in attendance on Saturday to confirm his new promotional deal.

In between the Taylor loss and Saturday’s news came just two ring appearances and a number of opportunities left on the table for various reasons. He eventually broke from Top Rank after his team could not reach terms for an offered shot at two-division lineal and current WBO junior welterweight champ Teofimo Lopez, who’ll instead face Jamaine Ortiz atop a February 8 ESPN show from Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

All signs, however, point to a more optimistic future.

“An Olympic pedigree. An incredible resumé that features two world titles. A massive and loyal fan base — José Ramirez has it all, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Golden Boy family,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy de la Hoya. “Our plan for Ramirez is simple: get him back in the ring quickly, keep him active against the best of the best and show the world that he is still among the cream of the crop in the super lightweight division.”

Details of his first fight under the Golden Boy banner are forthcoming.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. Scores First-Round TKO Victory Over Frederick Lawson

Vergil Ortiz Jr. has notched a convincing victory…

The 25-year-old Mexican American professional boxer scored a first-round TKO victory on Saturday in Las Vegas in a stoppage that was vehemently disputed by his opponent, Frederick Lawson.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.Ortiz, in his first fight in 17 months, buckled Lawson with a jab that backed him up. With Lawson lying on the ropes, Ortiz (20-0, 20 KOs) threw a flurry of left hooks to the body and overhand rights until referee Tony Weeks halted the action at 2 minutes, 33 seconds of the opening round.

Weeks told DAZN‘s Beto Duran that he stopped the bout because he saw Lawson’s eyes roll into the back of his head. Lawson, a 34-year-old Ghanaian who entered the fight as a huge underdog, passionately protested.

“I think that he got saved,” said Ortiz, who was making his junior middleweight debut. “I was hurting him with all the jabs. I wasn’t really putting anything behind it. … I love to fight. I wish I could have kept going. I need the rounds.”

Since March 2022, Ortiz has withdrawn from three fights due to health issues related to rhabdomyolysis, a condition that occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood.

Ortiz was rated No. 3 by ESPN at 147 pounds when he was set to meet Eimantas Stanionis last year. That bout was postponed three times; first after Stanionis underwent an emergency appendectomy and then twice due to Ortiz’s rhabdomyolysis recurrence.

With his health restored, Ortiz returned Saturday at a 156-pound catchweight shake-off-the-rust bout. And he did so with renowned trainer Robert Garcia back in his corner following a split in 2021.

Ortiz, a Dallas-area native, maintained his perfect knockout record with the victory over Lawson (30-4, 22 KOs). Now he wants his first world title shot.

“I’m ready for anyone out there,” said Ortiz, whose breakout 2021 campaign featured inside-the-distance wins over Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. “It feels like I’m back to doing what I usually do. This is my calling; this is what I live for.”

Ortiz called out Tim Tszyu, the WBO junior middleweight champion.

“With all respect, I would love to fight you,” Ortiz said in his call out. “I think you’re a hell of a fighter and let’s make this happen. … I want to fight the best.”

Ortiz’s promoter, Hall of Fame fighter Oscar De La Hoya, said Ortiz “will even go to Australia to fight Tim Tszyu.”

Tszyu, the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, issued a response to Ortiz in a post on X, welcoming him to the 154-pound division and saying, “I’m always keen for a modern day classic.

Ryan Garcia Delivers Eighth-Round Knockout of Oscar Duarte

Ryan Garcia has bounced back with a vengeance…

In his first fight with Derrick James as his trainer, the 25-year-old Mexican American boxer delivered a stunning eighth-round knockout of Oscar Duarte at Toyota Arena in Houston and live on DAZN.

Ryan GarciaGarcia’s stellar return to the ring on Saturday night comes after suffering his lone loss this past April.

Just when it looked like the pressure-fighting Duarte was gaining momentum, Garcia turned the tide in a flash with a left hook to the temple that put Duarte on jelly legs. Sensing he had Duarte hurt, Garcia smothered him with punches, including a right hook and uppercut, forcing Duarte to drop to a knee.

Duarte would rise off the canvas after the count of nine, though the referee stopped the fight right then and there, rewarding Garcia (24-1) with his 20th pro knockout.

“I fought hard to find myself again and I did a lot of soul-searching,” Garcia told DAZN’s Chris Mannix about returning to the ring since falling to Gervonta Davis by seventh-round KO nearly eight months back.

Garcia entered the fight flashing his quicker hand speed, though he seemed to respect the power of the heavy-handed Duarte. Toward the second half of the fight, Garcia noticeably resorted to the shoulder roll more, while moving around the ring enough to draw boos from the Texas crowd.

That hook to the temple ended any criticism of “King Ry” on the night as he positions himself to go after a 140-pound world title next, having these words for WBA titleholder Rolando “Rolly” Romero.

“I’m committing to becoming a world champion,” Garcia told DAZN. “If Rollys wants that, bring it on, Rollys.”

Ryan Garcia to Fight Oscar Duarte in December Junior Welterweight Bout

Ryan Garcia is heading back to the mat…

The 25-year-old Mexican American boxing star will return to the ring in a junior welterweight fight against Oscar Duarte on December 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya has announced.

Ryan GarciaThe fight will be streamed on DAZN, and it comes one week before Devin Haney challenges Regis Prograis for the WBC junior welterweight title on DAZN PPV.

Garcia will be competing for the first time since he was TKO‘d by Gervonta Davis — the first loss of Garcia’s pro career — in the seventh round of their April fight.

That bout took place at a 136-pound catchweight, but Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) now will campaign at 140 pounds, the same category as his last two fights before the “Tank” Davis bout took place.

The matchup with Duarte will also be Garcia’s first with Derrick James, who was ESPN‘s 2022 Trainer of the Year, leading his corner.

“Here you have a guy [Duarte] who’s coming off 11 KOs in a row,” De Le Hoya said. “There’s a guy who’s a power puncher who’s going to come forward and make Ryan fight. It’s the proper fight after a knockout loss to Gervonta.”

Garcia, who fights out of Southern California, is still seeking his first world title.

Later this month, he’ll enter mediation with Golden Boy Promotions as the sides attempt to resolve a dispute. Among the issues: Garcia claims his promotional deal to compete on pay-per-view platforms besides DAZN wasn’t honored.

According to Garcia’s demand letter sent to Golden Boy in June, the fighter was advised that his April superfight against Davis “could not happen unless it was broadcast on DAZN because of an exclusive agreement Golden Boy had separately negotiated with DAZN.”

The PPV fight against Davis was broadcast by Showtime — a broadcast partner of PBC (Davis’ promoter). DAZN also carried the fight on its streaming service and was paid a $1.25 million fee to step aside as the exclusive broadcaster, of which $120,000 Garcia personally paid to DAZN, per the letter.

Despite the disagreement and pending mediation, Garcia and De La Hoya were able to finalize this fight against Duarte to keep Garcia’s career moving.

“It’s business as usual,” De La Hoya told ESPN last month. “We have a couple of pending issues that should not impede any type of progress moving forward. I truly feel that we’re going to get this behind us and then move on with his career.”

Duarte, meanwhile, presents a chance for Garcia to bounce back from his first career loss and build some momentum heading into a pivotal 2024. Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) has won 11 fights since his only career loss, all by KO.

The 27-year-old Mexican fighter, who competes at 135 pounds, will make a major jump in class for the Garcia bout.

Garcia’s career-best win remains a seventh-round TKO of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell in January 2021, when Garcia survived a knockdown.

With an impressive showing over Duarte, Garcia appears poised for more marquee fights after the big business he delivered with Davis in April. Garcia said on social media that he earned $30 million for that fight.

“We’re looking to do a major, major fight with Ryan, possibly around Super Bowl weekend,” De La Hoya said. “I would love to talk to Bob [Arum] to see what’s going on with him and Teofimo [Lopez], but there’s other options as well.”

Edgar Berlanga Secures Unanimous Point Victory Over Jason Quigley

Edgar Berlanga is celebrating his latest victory…

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer and super middleweight contender knocked down Jason Quigley four times as he secured a unanimous points victory in New York on Saturday night.

Edgar BerlangaQuigley was sent to the canvas twice in the final round but survived to hear the last bell.

The Donegal native frustrated Berlanga for long periods of the contest.

“I want to get to the level where my opponents want to knock me out as much as I want to knock them out,” Berlanga told DAZN after the fight.

Quigley was dropped for the first time at the end of the third round and was knocked down again in the fifth, although that appeared to be a trip.

Edgar BerlangaHe rallied in the sixth and seventh round and had Berlanga under pressure but was unable to do enough to win.

The victory at Madison Square Garden saw Berlanga, who was coming off a 12-month lay-off, stretch his unbeaten record to 21 professional fights.

He had been been dealing with promotional issues on top of a six-month suspension from his last fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo in New York last June.

Berlanga was sanctioned for attempting to bite Roamer in the neck in the sixth round.

Regis Prograis Looking for New Opponent for Summer Homecoming Bout

Regis Prograis is on the hunt for a new opponent…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer is looking for a new challenger for his June 17 homecoming title defense in New Orleans after Australia’s Liam Paro withdrew with an injury.

Regis PrograisPrograis (28-1, 24 KOs) will make the first defense of the WBC junior welterweight title he won with an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November.

Prograis signed a three-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing earlier this month and will headline on DAZN.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 140 pounds, Prograis’ lone career defeat came in 2019 when he dropped a majority decision to Josh Taylor in a title unification in London.

Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) was set to fight outside Australia for the first time. Whoever replaces Paro will fight for the title on less than four weeks’ notice.

Regis Prograis Signs Three-Fight Deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing

Regis Prograis has a new deal…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer, a junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis, has signed a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing.

Regis Prograis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) accepted the offer over a more lucrative offer from Top Rank, sources said.

Prograis’ first fight with Matchroom will take place on June 17 in Prograis’ native New Orleans against Australia’s Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs), Prograis told ESPN. Sources said it is a headline bout on DAZN.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating which move I should make next,” Prograis said. “I had a lot of good offers on the table. But I feel like Matchroom is the best for me. I just feel like it’s the right fit. From the beginning I had that gut feeling and it never left. I can’t wait to start this chapter in my career.”

Prograis, who fights out of Houston, was ringside with Hearn for the Canelo AlvarezJohn Ryder undisputed super middleweight championship fight, Canelo’s first fight in Mexico in nearly 12 years.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 140 pounds, Prograis became a two-time champion when he scored an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November. Prograis’ lone professional defeat came against Josh Taylor in 2019 via majority decision.

Now that he’s aligned with Matchroom, Prograis could be matched with Jack Catterall, ESPN’s No. 1 junior welterweight. Catterall, who signed with Hearn last month, dropped a controversial decision to Taylor last February in his lone pro defeat.

Angel Rebollar Among Up-and-Coming Fighters on Jake Paul’s New Boxing Series “Most Valuable Propsects”

Angel Rebollar is officially an MVP

Jake Paul and his promotions team are launching a new boxing series called Most Valuable Prospects that will highlight top up-and-coming fighters, including the 19-year-old Mexican American boxer and former U.S. national amateur champion.

Angel RebollarThe series will begin with a card on May 26 in Orlando, Florida, and it will be headlined by Rebollar and rising star Ashton Sylve in an eight-round lightweight fight , officials tell ESPN.

Rebollar is 6-2, with three KOs.

Sylve, ESPN Ringside‘s 2022 prospect of the year who signed with MVP, is 8-0 with eight knockouts.

In all, there will be four cards this year, promoted by Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) and BoxLab Promotions and distributed by DAZN.

Paul and all-time great women’s boxer Amanda Serrano, another MVP-signed fighter, will be in attendance at the event.

“Having joined the boxing community in my 20s, I came to realize most professional athletes start training in the ring from the time they can walk,” Paul said in a statement. “It’s incredibly important to me and my team that we offer a platform and the tools necessary to help these young boxers achieve the success they’ve been working towards since they were kids.

“I was lucky enough to have a solid foundation when I entered boxing because of the people supporting me, and our goal with Most Valuable Prospects is to give others the same chance, on a global stage.”

The start of Most Valuable Prospects underscores the fact that Paul is further entrenching himself in boxing and combat sports.

“We have a wide array of athletes within the MVP family and our unique ability to market and promote them as individuals proves how different our company truly is,” MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said in a statement. “We have the ability to nurture boxing careers no matter what stage they are in, and our goal with this series is to identify and elevate the next generation of boxing icons.

“We want to help build the future of the sport and believe there is immeasurable potential out there.”