Super middleweight world titleholder Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez will take on his third unbeaten challenger in a row as he defends his belt against Roamer Alexis Angulo on June 30, Top Rank announced on Tuesday.
The fight will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN doubleheader beginning at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN and ESPN Deportes) from the Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In the opening bout, Oklahoma City's Alex Saucedo will fight Australian brawler Lenny Zappavigna in a scheduled 10-round junior welterweight bout.
Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs), 26, a Mexican southpaw, will be making the fourth defense of the 168-pound world title he won by shutout decision from Arthur Abraham in April 2016. In his second defense, Ramirez outpointed Jesse Hart (22-0 at the time) in September and then knocked out Habib Ahmed (25-0-1 at the time) in the sixth round on Feb. 3.
"I want to prove that I'm the best fighter in the division," Ramirez said. "I'm willing to leave everything in the ring to defend my title. I want to dedicate this fight to all the Mexicans and all the Latinos who reside in Oklahoma. I would like many of them to be present in the arena. That would motivate me even more. I'll be waiting for you guys on June 30."
Angulo (23-0, 20 KOs), 34, of Colombia, has a glittering record but is untested against top opposition, a similar situation Ahmed found himself in against Ramirez, who has not been able to find top-flight opposition because so many of the best 168-pounders have been tied up in the World Boxing Super Series eight-man tournament or have had other fights scheduled.
Saucedo (27-0, 17 KOs), 23, who shares trainer Abel Sanchez with unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin, will be fighting at home for the first time since a second-round knockout of Miguel Alvarez in September 2014.
"It's a huge opportunity for me, and I am thankful to be fighting at home on ESPN," Saucedo said. "I'm going to train really hard, so I can put on a great show for my city. It's a dream come true to fight at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. I'm ready for the moment. I know what kind of style I bring. I'm going to put on an incredible show and get Lenny out of there."
Zappavigna (37-3, 27 KOs), 30, fought for a lightweight world title in 2011 and dropped a unanimous decision to then-titlist Miguel Vazquez. In December 2016, "Lenny Z," as he is called, suffered an eighth-round knockout loss to Sergey Lipinets in an action-packed junior welterweight world title elimination fight. Zappavigna has won two fights in a row by knockout since.
"Zurdo Ramirez is always in great fights, and Angulo will give him a real battle," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "It's also with great pride that we were able to put in Oklahoma City native Alex Saucedo against a world class fighter like Lenny Zappavigna."