When last we spoke to Gilberto Ramirez in early July, he was basking in the glory of having become Mexico’s first super middleweight world champion after defeating Arthur Abraham on April 9, 2016, in Las Vegas.
He had realized his dream. Living it was glorious.
“A lot of people, they’ve been very nice to me,” Ramirez said at the time.
Then, boom, he injured his right hand in preparation for what was supposed to be a July 23 title defense.
“That was really sad when it happened, my injury,” Ramirez, 25, said Wednesday.
Ramirez looked bummed for a second, then he sprung back to life. He’s healed, he’s back and Saturday he’ll make that initial defense when he takes on Max Bursak (33-4-1, 15 KOs) of Ukraine at StubHub Center (on Top Rank pay-per-view).
“After that, I was thinking about my myself, about my career and everything,” Ramirez said. “I want to prove this Saturday all the happiness for me because it’s been one year out of the ring. It’s really exciting now.”
As we conversed at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles, Ramirez talked about how he is learning to do his interviews in English without a translator because he wants to be the one to convey his feelings to all of his followers.
“That’s why I say I need to learn it. And my fans, they love it,” he said. “They love it and it’s good not only for me, for my life, because I’m more prepared for everything.”
Ramirez – a 6-foot-2 1/2-inch southpaw – obviously has his head together. That’s why his promoter, Bob Arum, is not worried about the layoff.
“He is not the kind of kid that is going to go to flab when he’s not fighting,” the Top Rank chairman said. “He kept in shape. He swam, he ran.”
Four days before the fight, Ramirez was just one pound over the 168-pound super middleweight limit, Arum noted.
When we spoke to Ramirez and Arum in July, both said they yearned for a fight with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Big plans, indeed.
The injury did not foil them, not as far as they are concerned.
“I don’t know when it will happen, but for sure, I want that fight to happen,” said Ramirez, who promised he is not overlooking Bursak. “Maybe to the end of this year, maybe the beginning (of 2018).
“But for sure I want it to happen because I want to fight with him and he wants to fight with me.”
Arum said he understands Golovkin next wants to get Canelo Alvarez into the ring. If Alvarez defeats Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6, that could happen in September.
“It’s not a question of me going hard after the fight,” Arum said. “Obviously, Golovkin’s first choice is to fight Canelo. Now, there are obstacles to that. One, Chavez can beat Canelo; it’s a possibility. Secondly, Canelo can win the fight but get so banged up that he’s not ready to turn it around for September. And third, Canelo persists in not wanting to fight Golovkin.”
And if Ramirez vs. Golovkin does happen?
“I think Ramirez and Golovkin is a…