Gilberto Ramirez-Yunieski Gonzalez set for December 18 in San Antonio
LOS ANGELES, CA (November 11, 2021): Feared, former world champion, and light heavyweight sensation Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs) of Mazatlán, Mexico, will welcome the holiday season by taking on Cuba’s Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez (21-3, 17 KOs) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Title eliminator on Saturday, December 18 from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. The winner of the title eliminator will secure a mandatory challenge to the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship, a highly desired position for fighters that are often avoided in the highly protected light heavyweight division. The 12-round main event will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide.
In the co-main event, three-time world champion Seneisa “Super Bad” Estrada (21-0, 8 KOs) will defend her new WBA Minimumweight World title in a 10-round fight against the fierce, undefeated Maria “La Imparable” Santizo (9-0, 5 KOs) of Guatemala City, Gua. Next, rising super featherweight contender Lamont Roach, Jr. (21-1-1, 9 KOs) will face off against former world champion Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (32-10, 21 KOs) in a 10-round fight for the vacant NABA Super Featherweight championship. Opening up the broadcast, former U.S. Olympian and current WBC Flyweight World Champion Marlen Esparza (10-1, 1 KOs) will defend her world title, for the first time, against the seasoned former WBA world champion, Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz (31-4, 4 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico.
“The light heavyweight division is stacked with great talent, but none of them are taking risks, none of them want to step up to a real challenge,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez has proven to be among the elite of the division and is ready for a world title fight. Facing Yunieski Gonzalez, 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, Texas, for this event. Fight fans have always welcomed us there and will get a night full of action and world championship level boxing.”
A highly feared and avoided fighter, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is willing to put his undefeated record on the line to prove he is the best in the light heavyweight division, and the WBA Light Heavyweight title eliminator will allow him to get closer to his goal. After a spectacular knockout victory over Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera in July 2021, ‘Zurdo’ is ready to face an equally challenging fighter in Miami’s Yunieski Gonzalez. He is determined to retain his undefeated status, reach the highly coveted 50-0 milestone, and continue his knockout streak, which he has held since 2019. A former WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, who defended his title successfully five times, ‘Zurdo’ is ready for the world stage one more time in 2021, closing off the year with a bang.
“I’m happy and excited to be back in the ring before the year ends and showcase my talent again in Texas. Of course, I was a little disappointed that Bivol didn’t want to sign the contract and make the fight happen, but that’s boxing. I know my team and Golden Boy have been working strategically to make this happen, and I will not disappoint all my fans on December 18,” said Gilberto Ramirez.
“Yuneski is a tough Cuban fighter, and I know I will need to be my best that night. With this being the WBA World Title eliminator, I know he will do everything to change his life with this fight. Once this fight is over, Bivol will have nowhere to run and will have to face me,” continued Ramirez.
“Last but not least, I sincerely appreciate Mr. Gilberto Mendoza and the entire WBA organization for allowing me to be in this position. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the WBA and will do everything in my power to highly represent the organization and become the Champion.”
Fighting out of Miami, Florida, but originally from Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez has had a successful career in the light heavyweight division. He has stayed busy in 2020 and 2021, facing and defeating Guillermo Romero, Alex Theran, and Tommy Karpency by consecutive knockout victories. The heavy-handed fighter has been seeking an elusive world title fight and will get closer to his goal if he can defeat Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez for the WBA Light Heavyweight World Title eliminator on December 18.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God, Golden Boy, my representative Henry Rivaita, DAZN, the WBA, and my coach Peter Roque,” said Yunieski Gonzalez. “I am coming to give my all December 18. It will be an interesting fight since I am the only Cuban boxer who’s not a ‘runner,’ so fight fans will enjoy every minute of all the action. I have worked hard for the last year and a half, and it has paid off. I fight for freedom for thousands of kids who don’t have this opportunity. I’m coming to give Texas a night to remember.”
“Our strong end to the year continues with Gilberto’ Zurdo’ Ramirez facing off against Yunieski Gonzalez in a WBA Light Heavyweight Title eliminator,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “Zurdo has had a fantastic start to his light-heavyweight career and is looking to take one step closer to a world title shot by facing his toughest test December 18, live worldwide on DAZN.”
“I’m thrilled with the year that I’ve had, winning two world titles at two different divisions and ending the year with a title defense on December 18,” said Seneisa Estrada. “I was hoping to end the year with a unification fight, but we will stay prepared and ready for unification in 2022. I’m excited for December 18. I want to end the year with a bang and give my fans another exciting fight. Thank you to my promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, for the amazing year! 2022 will be even bigger and better!”
“This is going be a big test and big opportunity for me,” said Maria Santizo. “I am ready to prove that I am at a world championship level and am fully confident in my ability to become ‘The New’ WBA Minimumweight World Champion on December 18.”
“This is what it’s all about; I’ve been wanting a fight like this since my world title fight,” said Lamont Roach, Jr. “It’s time to show everyone why I belong on the world stage again.”
“After the back-to-back to losses to Roger Gutierrez, this is the most important fight of my life to get back into the big fights,” said Rene Alvarado. “Roach, Jr. is a good young fighter, but he doesn’t have the experience and has not fought anyone close to my level. I’ll show it on December 18. This is for Nicaragua.”
“My team and Golden Boy have decided that this is a good fight to get back in the ring after coming off Covid-19,” said Marlen Esparza. “I respect Ortiz; she has a lot of experience and some great wins. I am training very hard for my title defense!”
“I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for this opportunity; I dream of being a world champion again,” said Anabel Ortiz. “We know that Marlen Esparza is a strong opponent, and she has beaten good names, but boxing is about styles. I am moving up in weight for this division, and these kinds of challenges are what motivate me to keep going.”
Press release courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions.