WBO super middleweight, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs) is set to kick off the Top Rank on ESPN 2018 season in February with a third title defense in Corpus Christi, TX.
The 26-year-old Mexican star will be going against the top-five world-rated contender, Habib “Wild Hurricane” Ahmed (22-0, 17 KOs) of Accra, Ghana. The two will clash heads on February 3rd at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. The bout will be televised as the main event on EPSN and ESPN Deportes, as well as stream live on the ESPN App at 10:30pm EST. A press conference will be held on Thursday, November 16th to officially announce the fight.
Ramirez is coming off a tremendous unanimous decision win over number one contender, Jesse “Hard Work” Hart on September 22nd in Tucson, Arizona. Ramirez successfully defended his world title after taking Hart through twelve very tough and hard fought rounds. Hart was dropped in the second round, but grabbed every heart and fight he had to continue to stay in the game for the distance.
Ahmed, coming from a country that produced world champions such as Ike Quartey and Joshua Clottey, will be making his U.S. debut and will be fighting his first professional fight outside his native Ghana. Ahmed has won nine eight of his last nine fights by knockout with one as a technical draw due to an accidental head butt that caused the fight to be stopped prematurely. Back in March, Ahmed captured the vacant WBO Africa super middleweight title after stopping fellow Ghana native, Philip Kotey in the eleventh round.
“Gilberto Ramirez has proven that he is the best of the super middleweights. All you have to do is look at his world championship victories against Arthur Abraham and Jesse Hart,” said Bob Arum, Hall of Fame promoter of Top Rank. “Gilberto has quickly become the face of boxing on both sides of the border.”
“Habib Ahmed is an undefeated fighter with a good knockout record. He is fighting outside of his home country for the first time and that makes him a very dangerous fighter,” said Ramirez. “He knows that he has a great opportunity in front of him. I’m going to train even harder than for my last title defense. I think this will be a very good fight. My world title and our undefeated records will be on the line. I’m very motivated and focused on defending and retaining my title for the third time against a good opponent. I want to show the world why I’m the champion in the super middleweight division.”
“I have an important message for Gilberto Ramirez,” said Ahmed. “I am coming to America to take your title. I am going for the knockout. All of Ghana and all of my fans are going to be so proud, so happy. This is the opportunity I always wanted. I am taking Ramirez’s title with me to my homeland.”
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zapari Boxing Promotions, tickets to the Ramirez-Ahmed world championship event will go on sale this Thursday, November 16, at 10am CT, just in time for the holidays. Tickets are priced at $152, $102, $62, $42, and $27, including facility fees, and may be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, at the American Bank Center Box Office, Monday – Friday, 10am-6pm CT, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
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