Since joining Top Rank in August 2019, Orlando “Capu” Gonzalez has been yearning for a step-up fight. That opportunity has come and will take place on one of the most highly-anticipated cards of the year.
Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez and two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez reached terms earlier this week for an intriguing bit of matchmaking between featherweight southpaws. The bout will take place October 9 at T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, on the undercard of the trilogy clash featuring The Ring and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former titlist Deontay Wilder.
The bout will mark the first 10-rounder for both men.
Gonzalez (17-0, 10 knockouts), who will fight for the second time in Sin City, claimed an eight-round unanimous decision win over Juan Antonio Lopez before a sold-out crowd this past April in Kissimmee, Florida.
Ramirez (7-1, 4 KOs), who trains out of Gulfport, Florida, is riding a seven-bout winning streak following an embarrassing pro debut loss to Adan Gonzales. The Cuban southpaw, however, avenged that defeat in July of last year, defeating the Colorado-based Gonzales in their Las Vegas rematch.
Gonzalez opined to The Ring that despite Ramirez’s relatively young pro career, he is declining.
“When he lost to Adan Gonzales, I saw that his style does not acclimate with professional boxing. I was watching that fight very closely because I know he had a goal to fight [former featherweight titlist and 2016 Olympic silver medalist] Shakur Stevenson.
“He did not look very good at all. Adan did what he had to do and won convincingly.”
Gonzalez admitted he was actually an admirer of his future opponent while the two were rising amateurs.
“We have never shared a ring with one another in any capacity. I remember seeing him at the Pan American Games one year in Mexico. I was 108 pounds at the time and he was 114, so we were in different weight divisions.
“I have always admired Robeisy Ramirez. I have seen his entire career from London to Rio [where Ramirez captured both of his Olympic gold medals].”
We asked Gonzalez to describe his most difficult transition from the unpaid ranks to the big show.
“I was only 20 years old when I made my debut back in July of 2016. I was not as physically strong. Five years later, I feel stronger. I have a man’s structure.
“The other challenging aspect was getting used to fighting longer and the increase in the number of rounds – obviously. In the amateurs, you only fight for three rounds.”
Gonzalez faced three southpaws as a pro and has beaten them all soundly, including his most recent dance partner in Lopez.
Gonzalez’s younger cousin, undefeated junior lightweight prospect Henry Lebron (13-0, 9 KOs), is also a southpaw and both have familiarized themselves with the style by training together.
“I grew up with Henry and he is a very skilled fighter. We worked together and we oversaw one another. Fighting a southpaw has never been a problem for me. Matchmakers tell me, ‘Hey, this guy you are going to face is a lefty.’ And I’m like, ‘OK; that’s no problem for me.’”
While Gonzalez concedes that Ramirez has “solid fundamentals and experience,” he believes his resume lacks something that his features.
“He has faced a lot of non-competitive boxers. Easy fights are not necessarily good for your development. Challenging yourself is important for your career.
“My experience will definitely be a factor in the fight and benefit me. He hasn’t faced a fighter that is smarter than he is. He is going to find out on fight night.”