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Gilberto Ramirez: The boyhood dream is realized

08
Apr
Gilberto Ramirez 3 farina

Photo credit: Chris Farina/Top Rank Promotions

As a boy growing up in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Gilberto Ramirez never thought about fighting for a world title. Instead, he was taking names and beating up most kids his age in the neighborhood where he grew up.
Ramirez would stop long enough to watch Julio Cesar Chavez, who would become his idol, appear on television in many world title fights.
There was something about Chavez fighting in Las Vegas that enamored Ramirez to one day believe that could be him on television.
Fast-forward to this Saturday and that dream becomes a reality.
Ramirez will attempt to wrest the WBO super middleweight belt away from longtime titleholder Arthur Abraham at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 12-round bout will precede the welterweight rubber match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
Both bouts, along with two more support bouts, will air live on HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.
The days of Ramirez (33-0, 24 knockouts) attempting to prove his machismo on the streets is over. Now, conquering all-comers in a competitive super middleweight division is his priority.
After dominating his opposition thus far, Ramirez faces his most-challenging opponent in a two-division world champion who has won his last eight consecutive bouts.
“(Abraham) has a lot of experience but so do I,” Ramirez told RingTV over the phone this week. “I’m very motivated, especially to fight on this card. I’m prepared well and I’m taking this challenge like I do in all my fights. I’m very focused on what I need to do and I believe my team did the best preparation for this fight.”
Ramirez may be catching Abraham at the right time as the Armenian-born, German resident is on the downside of his career. Then again, Abraham may have enough left in the tank to earn a decision win over Ramirez.
The southpaw Ramirez is not short on confidence though. He believes he has earned his shot at a world title, as he is the mandatory challenger to the WBO title. Ramirez is ranked No. 4 by THE RING magazine, while Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) is ranked No. 1.
“I’m very confident in the preparation my team and I carried out in preparation for the fight,” said Ramirez, who could become the first super middleweight from Mexico to win a world title belt. “I’m not thinking about anything but to be victorious on Saturday.”
Ramirez may be carrying out that boyhood dream of fighting in Las Vegas but fighting for a world title is something that would come true. Fighting on the streets may have been his outlet as a boy but to fight for a major title became a goal once Ramirez and his team realized boxing was more than just a means to win a few purses.
“I never thought I would ever fight for a world title when I was a child. It was not a reality in my eyes when I was growing up. Then I realized winning a world title could turn from a dream to a reality when I turned pro.”
Whether Ramirez wins or not on Saturday remains to be seen but he does have a lot of upside. He is only 24 years of age but fights like a veteran.
While some are skeptical about his chances to dethrone Abraham on Saturday, a Ramirez win would come as a shock to the Mexican fighter.
“I know this is the biggest fight of my career but we trained hard for these type of fights.”
“The only thoughts I have is a win on Saturday.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.

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