Undefeated former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) is all in for a potential World Boxing Council (WBC) interim light heavyweight title fight against 2012 U.S. Olympian “Sir” Marcus Browne (23-1, 16 KOs).
The WBC ordered Ramirez vs. Browne this past Monday because reigning WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) hasn’t defended his title since capturing it October 18, 2019, due to getting COVID-19 during training camp, as well as for other pandemic related restrictions. Beterbiev is also the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight champion.
Ramirez is the #1 light heavyweight contender in the WBC ratings, while Browne is ranked #4. Team Zurdo and Team Browne have until February 5th to work out a deal before it’ll go to purse bid. Ramirez is promoted by his own company, Zurdo Promotions, while Browne is represented by PBC.
“This is an interesting opportunity and I’m ready to fight anyone in the light heavyweight division to leave my mark on the sport,” Ramirez said. “I know Marcus has been out of the ring for a while, but he’s a U.S. Olympian and still one of the best in the game. I know he’s wanted this fight for a while and hopefully we can make something happen.
“In addition, it’s always been my dream to get the green belt (WBC) and bring it back to Mexico. I have a lot of respect for the WBC and Mauricio Suliman and I am grateful for all their love and support throughout my career.”
Last month, Ramirez fought for the first time in 20 months, stopping defending champion Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-4, 25 KOs) in the 10th round of the “Battle of Rio Grande” main event, which marked the debut of Zurdo Promotions.
The 29-year-old Ramirez became the first Mexican fighter to capture a world super middleweight crown in 2016, when the ultra-gifted, athletic southpaw pitched a complete shutout against defending titleholder “King” Arthur Abraham (44-4), winning each round for a 12-round unanimous decision (120-106 X 3) to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) world champion.
Ramirez successfully defended his WBO title five times against 33-4-1 Maksym Bursak (DEC12), 22-0 Jessie Hart (DEC12), 25-0-1 Habib Ahmed (25-0-1), 23-0 Roemer Alexis Angulo (DEC12), and Hart again in a rematch (DEC12). “Zurdo” moved up to the light heavyweight division in 2019, destroying 29-6-1 Tommy Karpency, who was unable to continue fighting after four rounds.
A talented southpaw as well, Browne was a decorated U.S. amateur out of New York City, who won gold medals at the 2010 U.S. National PAL Championships and 2012 U.S. National Championships, prior to representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games in London.
Browne, 30, is a past WBA Interim light heavyweight World champion. He has beaten a pair of word champions, 22-1-3 Badou Jack (DEC12) and 25-7-1 Gabriel Campillo (25-7-2). Other notable opponents he has defeated include 21-0 Radivoje Kalajdzic (DEC8), 20-2 Thomas Williams (KO6), 28-0 Sean Monaghan (TKO2), and 18-1-1 Lenin Castillo (DEC10). Browne’s last fight was August 3, 2019, when he suffered his first loss as a professional to former world champion Jean Pascal (33-6-1) via an eight-round technical decision, after Browne suffered a severe cut over his left eye from an accidental head-butt.
“There are always challenges to making a fight become reality,” Ramirez concluded, “but me being both the fighter and sole promoter, I’m flexible on the common problems that takes to make a fight. I’m not sure how much time Marcus will need to be ready, but both time and location can be determined when the other preliminary items are agreed upon. If it goes to a purse bid, I’m ready for the process and, hopefully, this fight can happen for both of us.”