Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) from Mazatlán taking on Long Island’s Joe Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs) in a thrilling WBA Cruiserweight Eliminator fight. The reward for the winner? A direct trip to a world championship! Make sure to catch this 12-round spectacle live from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Don’t forget to set your clocks for 5:00 p.m. PT, and tune in live on DAZN.
Co-headlining is Bektemir “The Bully” Melikuziev (12-1, 9 KOs) going toe-to-toe with Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (28-4-1, 13 KOs). The Bully, from Shoimbek, Uzbekistan (who also gives a shout-out to Indio, California), will be defending his WBA Intercontinental Super Middleweight Title in a 10-round fight.
Darius “DFG” Fulghum, who’s been knocking his opponents out left and right, is taking on Alan Campa in an eight-round light heavyweight bout. Fulghum’s entering the ring fresh off a win from September 16. Plus, Eric Tudor will square up against Jose Sanchez in an eight-round super welterweight face-off.
The undercard isn’t shy of action either:
- Tristan “Sweet T” Kalkreuth vs. Aaron “Ghozt Mas” Casper: An eight-round cruiserweight battle.
- Daniel “Ikaika” Luna, fresh from his explosive victory earlier in September, will be facing Erick Benitez in a four-round super lightweight bout.
- Star Boxing’s Jahyae “Golden Child” Brown is set to fight Victor Toney in an eight-round junior middleweight clash.
- Undefeated Rajon “Picasso” Chance is gearing up to test his skills against Orlando Perez Zapata in an eight-round featherweight fight.
Lastly, the fight featuring John “Scrappy” Ramirez vs. Ronal Batista has been rescheduled for the Rocha vs. Santillan card on Saturday, October 21
The ex-WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Ramirez, is eyeing his chance to display his guts and glory and prove that he’s got the fighter’s heart to seize titles in two different divisions. With nearly 15 years in the ring, his career scorecard boasts victories over names like Maxim Vlasov, Jessie Hart, and Arthur Abraham. He’s a fighter who’s tasted the sweetness of being the WBO Super Middleweight World Champion. His only loss came in a battle against Dmitry Bivol in November 2022, but Ramirez is pumped, ready to get back into the ring and slug it out with the division’s heavy punchers.
“I’m primed to conquer the cruiserweight division and prove I can add another championship belt to my collection,” affirmed Gilberto Ramirez. “I’m grateful to my fans, Golden Boy, DAZN, the WBA, and my entire corner that stood by me through this transition. Joe Smith Jr. is a famished challenger and no stranger to being the underdog. We both had our eyes on a light heavyweight bout in the past, but now it’s on. See you all in the fight capital, Las Vegas!”
Joe Smith Jr., a man of iron will and the former WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion, has a knack for silencing doubters. He snatched his title in a relentless bout against Maxim Vlasov in April 2021 and then defended it against Steve Geffrard in January 2022, before falling to Artur Beterbiev. Smith’s record is one of the sport’s best, including victories over boxing royalty like Bernard Hopkins, Eleider Alvarez, Jessie Hart, and Andrzej Fonfara. He’s stepping up to cruiserweight for the first time to meet Ramirez, bringing with him the respect and backing of the “common man.”
“I’m thrilled to be stepping back into the ring in grand fashion against ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez on October 7,” exclaimed Joe Smith Jr. “This year’s been a rough one, topped by losing my brother Alex. But I feel his presence with me in that ring. He’d be excited to see me back, and I’m eager to show that the Common Man is back. Here’s to a performance that can bring joy and inspiration to my family.”
Oscar De La Hoya, the Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, weighed in, “’Zurdo’ has taken down everyone in his path for almost 15 years, becoming a feared world champ in the Super Middleweight division. But now, with a loss behind him and a new weight class to dominate, there’s a fresh spark in Zurdo’s eyes. I’m anticipating a breathtaking bout and the first step towards a cruiserweight world title.”
Joe DeGuardia, Star Boxing’s CEO, was equally enthusiastic, “We’re excited to welcome back Star Boxing’s ‘Common Man,’ Joe Smith Jr., live on DAZN. This year’s been tough for him and his family, but in true Joe Smith fashion, he’s hungry for the toughest challenge out there. Champion vs Champion, this fight promises edge-of-the-seat excitement. .”
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, Renowned Former Champion, Stated: “I’m eagerly looking forward to returning with my team on October 7 in Las Vegas. The reason for my excitement is that some of the most thrilling shows occur in Vegas.”
“I’m feeling excellent in the cruiserweight division; this has generally been my standard weight my whole life. I feel considerably more robust in this class, and above all, I feel healthy.”
“Overcoming the loss to Bivol was extremely challenging. It impacted my spirit and my pride as a fighter. Having overcome it, I aspire to return stronger and achieve victory. I want to experience the feeling of accomplishment.”
“I’ve observed Joe Smith Jr. over the years; I’ve probably followed his entire career. He’s a respectable fighter, and fighting him is thrilling for me as he is a former world champion, and he has fought several respected champions and top-contender opponents.”
Bektemir “The Bully” Melikuziev, Competitor in the Super Middleweight Division, Expressed: “I’m in good spirits post my significant win over Gabriel Rosado. I’m thrilled to make my return. We’re primed for all the prominent fights in this division. The fight with Gabe was a fundamental one for me. Now, I am actively pursuing world titles.”
“My team has meticulously studied my upcoming opponent. His identity is inconsequential to me. I understand he is notably tall for our division, is unconventional, resilient, and always involved in engaging fights. I’m not overlooking him; it’s shaping up to be an intriguing fight.”
Daniel “Ikaika” Luna, Rising Super Lightweight Star, Shared: “Our last fight ended swiftly last month with my second-round knockout, so we figured, why not? My team and I deliberated, concluding that I was ready, conditioned, and set to return this month. Our goal is to maintain activity.”
“Our emphasis isn’t on knockouts; it’s on maintaining activity. If a knockout occurs, it happens. I’m aware my challenger is resilient and comes prepared to fight, and so do I.”
Zurdo Takes On Smith: Start Time
Date: Saturday, October 7 Kick-off: 8 p.m. ET / 1 a.m. UK Main event stepping into the ring: Roughly 11 p.m. ET / 4 a.m. UK
So, what’s the deal for the evening? The whole eventwill kick-off by 5 p.m. ET/1 a.m. UK. As for the main dudes, Zurdo and Smith, expect to see them squaring up around 11 p.m. ET/4 a.m. UK. B
Where to watch?
You can catch all the punches and jabs live on DAZN, streaming in over 200 nations worldwide. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t have DAZN yet, no worries—just click here to grab your subscription.
Rumble Venue: Where’s The Noise Gonna Be? The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada. Bring your sunglasses; it’s gonna be starry!
Know Your Fighters:
Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez – The Mexican Marvel!
- DOB: June 19, 1991
- Height: A cool 6′ 2″
- Wingspan: 75″
- Fight Count: 45
- Track Record: A respectable 44-1 (with 30 KOs)
Joe “Not your average Joe” Smith Jr. – USA’s pride!
- DOB: September 20, 1989
- Height: 6′ 0″
- Arm Length: 76″
- Total Fights: 32
- Stats: 28-4 (22 KOs, ain’t too shabby!)
The Fight Night Card :
- Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs. Joe Smith Jr. – The big Cruiserweight showdown!
- John “Scrappy” Ramirez taking on Ronal Batista in a WBA super flyweight eliminator.
- Bektemir Melikuziev squares up with Alantez Fox in the super middleweight division.
- Tristan Kalkreuth vs. The Mysterious TBA; another Cruiserweight tango.
- Eric Tudor trades punches with Jose Luis Sanchez; light middleweight division.
- Daniel Luna waits for his challenger, Mr. TBA, in a super lightweight clash.
- Jahyae Brown and Victor Toney lighting it up in the light middleweight fight.
- Rajon Chance vs. Orlando Perez Zapata