Super Bowl Weekend “Kicks Off” with Gilberto Ramirez vs Habib Ahmed on ESPN This Saturday
January 31, 2018
Anthony Saldana (84 articles)

Super Bowl Weekend “Kicks Off” with Gilberto Ramirez vs Habib Ahmed on ESPN This Saturday

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña


With the biggest sports weekend of the year upon us Top Rank Boxing will make its much anticipated return to ESPN this Saturday, February 3rd at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas as the WBO middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (36-0, 24 KO’s), from Mazatlan, Mexico will take on the undefeated Habib “Wild Hurricane” Ahmed (22-0, 17 KO’s) from Accra, Ghana. For Ramirez this will be his third defense of his super middleweight title which he captured from former champion Arthur Abraham last April in Las Vegas on the Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley undercard. Ramirez who is coming off a unanimous decision over the then undefeated Jesse Hart now must focus on an unknown Ghanian who is making his US debut this Saturday. “Habib Ahmed is an undefeated fighter with a good knockout record.” Stated Ramirez. “He is fighting outside of his home country for the first time and that makes him a very dangerous fighter, He knows that he has a great opportunity in front of him. 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.”


Ahmed who is a former Ghanaian super middleweight champion, will not only be making his US debut, but will be fighting first professional fight outside of Ghana. On paper Ahmed seems to be very heavy handed, he’s knocked out eight of his last nine opponents and has six knockouts in row including a huge 11th round knockout of Philip Kotey allowing Ahmed to capture the vacant WBO Africa super middleweight title. Ahmed recently stated “I have an important message for Gilberto Ramirez, 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.”


In the co-main event the IBF Super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1, 19 KOs) from Cavite City in the Philippines will make his fourth defense of his title as he takes on 21 year old Israel Gonzalez (21-1, 8 KOs) from Mexico. Saturday night in Texas, Ancajas and Gonzalez will be making there US debut. Ancajas who was first noticed by Top Rank when he beat Teiru Kinoshita on the Pacquiao vs Horn undercard was eventually signed by the promotional company after he destroyed Jamie Conlan older bother of Top Rank prospect Micheal Conlan last November. Now Ancajas will look to give fans an impressive showing knowing that the Superfly division has the likes Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, Carlos Cuadras, Naoya “the Monster” Inoue, and Chocolatito Gonzalez waiting for a shot his title. “I consider myself a notch below them because they’re popular and well known,” stated Ancajas. “I would like to fight them someday so I know where I am and how good I can be. I have plans for going up in weight eventually like Manny Pacquiao did, but I feel strong at 115, so only time will tell. What I want to do on fight night is to show everyone that they (Top Rank) didn’t commit a mistake in getting me,” said Ancajas.


Other bouts include


Teofimo Lopez Jr. (7-0, 6 KO’s) vs. Juan Carlos Sanchez (1-1), 8 rounds, lightweights


Jesse Hart (22-1, 18 KO’s) vs. Thomas Awimbono (25-7, 21 KO’s) 10 rounds, super middleweights


Jose Benavidez Jr. (25-0, 16 KO’s) vs. Matthew Strode (24-5, 9 KO’s), 8 rounds, welterweights


Gabriel Flores Jr. (5-0, 4 KO’s) vs. Alex Solorio (4-2, 1 KO), 6 rounds, junior lightweights


Rohan Murdock (21-1, 15 KO’s) vs. Frankie Filippone (24-6, 8 KO’s), 8 rounds, super middleweights


David Kaminsky (Debut) vs. Rafael Munoz (1-2-1), 4 rounds, junior middleweights


All Photos by Mikey Williams for Top Rank



Anthony Saldana