Former lightweight world titleholder Anthony Crolla will take on Edson Ramirez in a scheduled 10-round bout on the undercard of the heavyweight world title unification fight on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced Monday.
Crolla (32-6-3, 13 KOs), 31, of England, lost his 135-pound world title by decision to Jorge Linares in a barnburner in September 2016 and then lost a more decisive decision to him in a rematch last March.
But Crolla shook off the two-fight skid in October by winning a unanimous decision against Scotland's Ricky Burns, a former three-division world titleholder, and will look for a second victory in a row hoping to position himself for another crack at a lightweight belt.
"Eddie and I met recently and we outlined a plan to get back to world titles and Cardiff is the first fight in that plan," Crolla said. "I need to get out there and get another win and then we can look for a big fight in the summer. It's a great platform. There's no bigger event to be on and I'm really excited to go to Cardiff. I'm always mixing at the top level so I want a test and Ramirez will be well up for it.
"We've had rough talks about a lot of fights. (Lightweight contender) Luke Campbell and I both want to fight for world titles and I don't think either of us would have a problem in fighting the other, but the ultimate goal for us both is to win a world title. We're one and two in Britain so it makes sense so we'll see what happens down the line. I'm not targeting anyone in particular; I just want a world title shot. I'll take on any of the champions and go anywhere to do it."
Ramirez (18-2-1, 8 KOs), of Mexico, hasn't lost since dropping back-to-back six-round split decisions in his second and third professional bouts in 2012 though he has not faced world class competition like Crolla has.