Featured in this article:
  • Gilberto and Ramirez stats
  • What's the latest from Ramirez and Barrera?
  • Who do the current odds favor?

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Gilberto Ramirez, right, of Mexico, connects with Maxim Bursak, of Ukraine, during a WBO world championship super middleweight bout in 2017. (Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill)

Boxing betting fans are hearing up for a classic light-heavyweight rumble Saturday when Gilberto Ramirez defending his NABF title against Cuban veteran Sullivan Barrera in California.

Middleweight supremo Ramirez stepped up a weight two years ago and won the NABF crown with a 10th-round TKO of Alfonso Lopez last November. Since then he has sought an opponent to defend his title against – and Barrera is perhaps the ideal fighter to face on a first defense.

Barrera, 39, is in the twilight of his career and is perhaps a shadow of the fighter who won the WBC International light heavyweight belt off Joe Smith Jr back in 2017. His first world title fight three years ago ended in defeat to Dmitry Bivol, and has since lost to Jesse Hart too.

Ramirez is certainly the favorite when looking at the boxing odds, but can Barrera pull off a shock win? Here’s everything you need to know about Ramirez vs Barrera betting this weekend…

Ramirez vs Barrera Stats

Career record Gilberto Ramirez Sullivan Barrera
Nationality Mexican Cuban
Age 30 (June 19, 1991) 39 (February 25, 1982)
Reach 75 inches 73 inches
Record 41-0-0 22-3-0
Last fight Beat Alfonso Lopez (TKO, 10th round), December 2020 Lost to Jesse Hart (UD), June 2019

As the Gilberto Ramirez stats show, the Mexican is on course for a 42nd professional fight unbeaten here in California. He has the better form, greater reach, and fewer years than his rival Barrera. Indeed, the Barrera record shows three defeats, and all of those have come in the past five years.

Ramirez’s victory over Lopez put him on the light heavyweight stage and now the question is how far can this man go? He’ll have to bypass Barrera first but all the signs point to another great champion being forged on the Mexico/US border.

Ramirez: ‘I’m the best in the division’

Still undefeated in his career and having moved up to light heavyweight, Ramirez is looking to take on the world. Successfully defending his NABF belt here would likely put him on course to face one of the world titleholders in this division: namely Artur Beterbiev, Bivol, or Smith Jr.

His southpaw style has bamboozled rival fighters down the years and further glory is in his sights. But the Mexican insists he’s not getting carried away.

“I know I’m the best in the division and sooner or later I will be snatching each of the belts and taking their souls one by one,” said Ramirez, before turning his attention to Saturday’s opponent.

“Barrera is a professional and I know he will be ready when the lights are on. He displayed that he’s a strong fighter when he beat and broke Joe Smith Jr’s jaw in their bout.

“A victory for Barrera can resurge his career and alter my path; so, I prepare for the best version of Barrera and I will not let anything deter my goals.

boxers in ring during bout

Barrera Predicts ‘difficult fight’

At the age of 39, you’d expect Barrera to be fairly pleased with his boxing career despite the three defeats suffered in his last eight bouts. His victory over Smith Jr in 2017 was a career-defining display of guts and durability, while he went almost all the way with Bivol.

And Barrera reckons Ramirez is not by any distance the best fighter he has come up against and has cast doubt on the Mexican’s ability to handle the pressure of the big fight.

“I know that my opponent is a former world champion with a lot of experience and that he will come very much prepared. However, I feel that I have faced much better opposition,” he said.

“I’ve also spent my entire career in the light heavyweight division, something that will be totally new for him. It will be a difficult fight, but I will walk away with my hands raised in victory.”

Ramirez vs Barrera Betting Latest

While Barrera is perhaps rightly talking up his chances here – he’s a boxer, after all! – there’s a clear favorite in the boxing betting odds. Ramirez is -800 with some US sportsbooks to win Saturday’s contest. The 30-year-old is undefeated and looked comfortable at this weight division in beating Lopez last December. What’s more, he has nine years over Barrera and that could make the difference as the bout drags on.

Not that Barrera can’t go the distance. He’s gone the full fight in four of his last five rumbles, with the only anomaly a 12th-round defeat to Bivol with 1:19 remaking on the clock. Barrera is +700 to win and that price will likely attract plenty of bettors.

Looking at the props, a bet on the fight going the distance appears a sensible wager considering Barrera’s durability and Ramirez’s step up in weight. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see either fighter sparked in the early rounds.

But this could still be a classic when the fight gets underway at around 8:15 PM PT Saturday. A very unlikely draw is priced at +2500.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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