LAS VEGAS – Only five boxers have started their professional careers with a 50-fight win streak and the contemporary leader, 41-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is on a mission to join the exclusive club, continuing July 9th in Los Angeles against Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs).
Ramirez, who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, was the first Mexican-born super middleweight World champion, and he is currently the No. 3 rated light heavyweight in the world, by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).
Although he won’t turn 30 until June 19, Ramirez has been fighting professionally for nearly 12 years, and one of his goals is to become a World champion in two different weight classes. Another is joining his idol and fellow Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez in the 50-0 Club, in which he is No. 1 having amazingly won his first 87 pro fights. The first blemish on his pro record was a 12-round majority draw with the great Pernell Whitaker in 1993 in their WBC World welterweight title fight.
BOXING’S 50-0 CLUB
- Julio “J.C. Cesar Chavez 87 (13 KOs) 1980-1993 Mexico
- Willie “Wil ‘o The Wisp” Pep 62 (23 KOs) 1940-1943 USA
- Wanheng Menayothin 54 (18 KOs) 2009-2019 Thailand
- Carlos “Canas” Zarate 52 (51 KOs) 1970-1978 Mexico
- Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. 50 (27 KOs) 1996-2017 USA
“Getting to 50-0 is very important, but I’m more interested in being able to fight the fights the fans want,” Ramirez said. “I’ve never turned down a fight and have made it clear to all the fighters I want. I look across the division and none of these fighters are on my level”
Chavez moved ahead of featherweight icon Will Pep at 62, No. 2 on the contemporary list, compiled in less than three years dating back to the 1940’s. Pep lost for the first time as a pro to Sammy Angott by 10-round decision in 1943.
Thailand mini-flyweight Wanheng Menayothin, originally a Muay Thai fighter, had his streak snapped last November at 54 by Panya Pradabsri.
Another Mexican boxer is in the 50-0 Club, No. 4 Carlos Zarate, who reached 52 straight victories off his pro debut, 51 by knockout, in the 1970’s. Zarate was stopped in his 53rd fight by Puerto Rican star Wilfredo Gomez in the fifth round of their 1978 WBC super bantamweight World championship match.
The only member of the exclusive 50-0 Club to retire undefeated is Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. in fifth place with 50.
The four inactive boxers in the club – Chavez, Pep, Zarate, and Mayweather – are inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Rocky Marciano and Brian Nielson (49), Larry Holmes (48), Ricardo Lopez (47), Joe Calzaghe (46-0) and Jim Barry (45) all came close to 50-0 memberships. Lopez (51-0-1) fought a draw in his 48th pro fight with Rosendo Alvarez.
Ramirez is closing in on boxing history as he fights for his legacy. Five years after he retires, “Zurdo” should rightfully join the four Hall of Famers who are presently ahead of him on the 50-Club list.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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