Mexico is renowned for its seemingly endless production line of high class pressure fighters, but this proud boxing nation has never raised a world champion at 168lbs. 6ft 2.5ins southpaws with skills to burn are almost as rare. Yet Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez is poised to leave his mark on Mexican boxing history and break new ground among the super-middleweights. Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs) is tantalisingly close. The 24-year-old is mandatory contender for wily WBO champion Arthur Abraham who he faces on the Pacquiao-Bradley III undercard on 9 April in Las Vegas. Yet dreams of glory seemed a world away when the young Ramirez was an ill-behaved youth in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and tempted, like so many before him, by the call of the streets. “I decided to go to the boxing gym [at 12 years old] because I used to have lots of street fights in my hood, and I always liked to watch the sport of boxing,” Ramirez told Boxing Monthly via trainer/translator Hector Zapari over the phone from his gym in Mazatlan. “I went to the Dr. Solorzano boxing gym close to downtown Mazatlan with only 10 pesos for the bus and a couple of hand wraps."