Ramirez vacates WBO super middleweight title

1142351941.jpg.0 - Ramirez vacates WBO super middleweight title

The move will allow Billy Joe Saunders to vie for the full world title against Shefat Isufi this weekend.

It’s official. The WBO’s super middleweight titleholder Gilberto Ramirez (40-, 26 KOs) has finally relinquished his 168lb belt. The move had been expected as Ramirez moved up to the light heavyweight division a couple months ago, but Ramirez recently submitted a letter to the sanctioning body informing him that he woulds continue to campaign at 175lbs going forward.

With the title now officially vacant, it seems that Billy Joe Saunders — who is also moving up in weight — will get his wish by having his super middleweight bout with Shefat Isufi elevated to a full title fight instead of for an interim world title. Saunders says if he beats Isufi he’d welcome a fight against Canelo Alvarez, who holds a secondary super middleweight title since stopping Rocky Fielding last December.

“I would love the Canelo fight, but does he want to fight me? I don’t think so,” Saunders said. “If they do want to fight me, ring me up. I am not asking for millions. Just be fair with me and we can get the show on the road. Canelo has cemented his name, made good money and is a superstar in the sport. I wouldn’t say he is avoiding me, but there are plenty of people he can pick apart from Billy Joe Saunders. That is a fact. Who wants to fight a slick southpaw who is hard to hit?”

But with Canelo’s team not appearing to be particularly interested in a fight with Saunders, he says he’d also be interested in a fight against Callum Smith.

“Callum is a good fighter and big, but I think people go on about size in this sport too much,” Saunders said. “We saw (small heavyweight) David Haye beating (300-plus-pound) Nikolai Valuev. Size doesn’t matter in this sport. If you’re good enough, you’re good enough, and I believe I am good enough to beat Callum Smith. That is a fight I would entertain.”

As for Ramirez, Top Rank’s Carl Moretti says there are no immediate plans as to where his fighter goes from here. Ramirez just had a son born, will presumably take a little time to get settled, and then figure out his next move.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *