Ramirez-Batista added to Zurd0-Smith Jr. card

John “Scrappy” Ramirez (12-0, 8 KOs) will co-headline the Zurdo Ramirez-Joe Smith Jr. card with a 10-round, WBA Super Flyweight Final Eliminator fight against Panama City, Panama’s Ronal Batista (15-3, 9 KOs).

The winner will move on to fight for a world title.

Bektemir “The Bully” Melikuziev (12-1, 9 KOs) of Shoimbek, Uzbekistan, who also proudly represents Indio, California, will face Upper Marlboro, Maryland’s Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (28-4-1, 13 KOs). “The Bully” is returning after a successful rematch against boxing veteran Gabriel Rosado in April 2023 that saw him become the WBA Intercontinental Super Middleweight Titleholder which he will defend on October 7(DAZN).

Opening the broadcast, Tristan “Sweet T” Kalkreuth (11-1, 8 KOs) of Carolton, Texas will face a soon-to-be-announced opponent in a six-round cruiserweight fight. Kalkreuth’s last fight in July left fan’s jaws on the floor after a vicious knockout and a backflip to celebrate.

On the preliminary undercard Golden Boy’s favorites are scheduled to return against soon-to-be announced opponents. Fort Lauderdale’s Eric Tudor (9-0, 6 KOs) will participate in an eight-round super welterweight fight. After an explosive, second round knockout on September 7, recently signed Daniel “Ikaika” Luna (3-0, 3 KOs) will hope to repeat history with a four-round super lightweight fight.

Also part of the preliminaries, in an eight-round junior middleweight fight is Star Boxing’s Jahyae “Golden Child” Brown (13-1 9KO’s), who will face off against Youngstown, Ohio’s Victor Toney (7-2-1 6KO’s). Also on the undercard is Star Boxing’s undefeated, New Jersey prospect, Rajon “Picasso” Chance (8-0-1 6KO’s), who will measure up in an eight-round featherweight fight against Orlando Perez Zapata (13-0 9KO’s) of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.

Ramirez-Smith set for October 7

Former World Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) will make his grand debut in the cruiserweight division and measure up against former light heavyweight World Champion Joe “Common Man” Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs) in a 12-round clash on Saturday, October 7 at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas(DAZN).

The former WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will be looking to make a statement and demonstrate he has the bravado to become a two-division titleholder. With nearly 15-years of professional experience, he embarked on a career that would see him defeating the likes of Maxim Vlasov, Jessie “Hard Work” Hart and “King” Arthur Abraham, whom he defeated to become the WBO Super Middleweight World Champion. His sole blemish on his record comes from a valiant performance against Dmitrii Bivol last November 2022. Ramirez is now ready to return to the ring and contend against the heavy hitters of the division.

“I am ready to take over the cruiserweight division and prove to myself that I can add another championship belt to my resume,” said Gilberto Ramirez. “I want to thank all of my fans, Golden Boy, DAZN, the WBA, and my entire team that have supported me through this season of change. We are ready to face a hungry opponent in Joe Smith Jr. who is used to being an underdog. I know both of us wanted this fight at light heavyweight a few years back, but I’m glad we can make it now. See you all in Las Vegas!”

The iron-willed, former light heavyweight World Champion Joe Smith Jr. is known to prove his critics wrong, becoming the WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion after giving an unyielding boxing performance when he fought Maxim Vlasov in April 2021. He went on to successfully defend his title against Steve Geffrard in January 2022 and then succumbed to Artur Beterbiev in a massive unification fight on June 18. In addition, Smith has one of the best resumes in boxing that includes victories over former undisputed champion and boxing legend, Bernard Hopkins, former world champion, Eleider Alvarez, and title contenders Jessie Hart and Andrzej Fonfara. Having begun his career in 2009, he has earned the respect of the “common man” and will also be going up to cruiserweight for the first time to face Ramirez.

“It feels great to return to the ring in a big way on October 7 against ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez,” said Joe Smith Jr. “I was having a rough time this year, then we tragically lost my brother Alex on top of it all. I miss him and know he will be with me when I step into that ring. He was always proud of me and he would be happy to see me back. I can’t wait to show the world the Common Man is back and hope my performance can bring some happiness and inspiration back to my family.”

“‘For almost 15 years, ‘Zurdo’ beat everyone who stepped into the ring, becoming a world champion and the most feared man in the Super Middleweight division in the process,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya. “But coming off a loss and with a new weight division to conquer, there is a renewed fire in Zurdo’s eyes. I expect an impressive outing and a first step towards a cruiserweight world championship.”

Zurdo: ‘I really believe that I can become a two-time World Champion on Saturday’

As the countdown continues for the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship on Saturday, Nov. 5, the current title holder Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) and undefeated, former world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) hosted a final press conference discussing their 12-round clash.

The fight will take place at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and will be broadcast live worldwide on DAZN.

Here is what the participants of today’s conference said:


“I really believe that I can become a two-time World Champion on Saturday. I want to say thank you to Oscar and to everyone for being here. To my team and all of the press and media – thank you. I’d like to thank Dmitry and his team for making the fight happen.

“It’s exciting for me to come from Mexico and be here in Abu Dhabi. It’s the same weather, I feel like I’m at home. I’ve been training hard for this fight and I will take the belt this Saturday that’s for sure. 44 tried, 44 fell. I hope that the people enjoy the fight because this is the type of fight that fans like to see in boxing.

“Right now I just see it as becoming a two-time World Champion, I don’t see it like me becoming a boxing star. My goal is to become a two-time World Champion, continue to build my legacy and eventually to become a legend. That’s my goal. I want to do that for all of my fans out there.”


“Hello everybody. I want to say first of all, thank you to the Abu Dhabi government, the Department of Culture and Tourism for this opportunity for me to introduce boxing to Abu Dhabi. Thank you to Eddie, Gilberto Ramirez and his team – everyone who is involved in this fight. Thank you to my team.

“I really had a big dream to win this belt and I don’t want to leave it. I will fight for this and I want to keep it. I want more. I feel I have something inside of me which I need to realize so I can be happy at the end of my career.

“What about this camp? I had it in three locations, I had a great camp everywhere. The last location was Abu Dhabi. I have been here since September 27th. I feel like I had everything that I needed for training. When I thought about resting, I had everything for resting here. When I met people in the gym or the mall everyone was really happy. People have been very welcoming to me and my team. People are welcoming to every tourist here. It’s good.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday night. I believe it will be an exciting fight. Abu Dhabi will make more boxing fights and maybe boxing will be the main sport in Abu Dhabi. I hope it will be because this is my favorite sport in the world. I want to be everywhere, and people know the sport. It’s great. Thank you everyone.

“When people tell me that I have achieved everything it’s like they pour water on my fire. I try to only think about my dream, to realize my full potential. I try to be hungry and angry every time and be focused on training and my opponents. I try to think about how this Saturday night will be the hardest fight of my career. It makes me more focused on the night.”