Tag Archives: ramirez

Will the WBO Overlook Gilberto Ramirez Again?

Posted on 01/21/2020

By: Shane Willoughby 

Gilberto Ramirez has been at 175lbs for about a year but still hasn’t been allowed to fulfil his mandatory obligations for the WBO title.

Ramirez was the WBO champion at 168 but relinquished the belt to move up to Light heavyweight. One of the rules the WBO inforce is that any of their champions will become mandatory if they decide to move to another weight class.

Jan 24, 2015, Broomfield,Co. — Undefeated No. 2-world-rated super middleweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez of Mazatlan, Mexico wins an 10-round unanimous decision over Maxim Vlasov of Russia , Saturday, at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield,Co. — Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

With that said, how is it that Ramirez still hasn’t been able to fight for the title. When Kovalev was WBO champion he had a mandatory in place prior to the Mexican making the jump. 

However, after Kovalev got past Anthony Yarde, Ramirez was forced to wait again due to the WBO ranking Canelo Alvarez ahead of him, despite the fact that Alvarez has never been a champion with the governing body and had never fought at 175lbs.

Now the belt is free after Saul Alvarez vacated the strap, it looks as if Ramirez is getting overlooked once again. Many names have been thrown in the hat to fight for the vacant title; but not Gilberto Ramirez.
Joe Smith Jr, Dmitry Bivol, Anthony Yarde, Sergey Kovalev have all been rumoured to fight for the belt ahead of the former champion. Now that the belt is vacant it’s a perfect opportunity to unify the strap with one of the titles.

So Bivol vs Ramirez or even Beterbiev vs Ramirez would be fantastic but extremely unlikely. It doesn’t really matter who Ramirez opponent is so long as he gets his opportunity to fight for the belt, and the WBO stick to the rules that they have set.
There have been several rumours stating Ramirez could be looking to buy out his contract with Top Rank, could that be the reason why he hasn’t had his shot? We all know uncle Bob has a good relationship with the WBO. Or could he be wanting to leave because Top Rank haven’t delivered his title shot?

There are many rumours circulating but maybe the Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto Ramirez fight is more likely than we think. Because if the rumours are true that the Mexican wants to leave Top Rank it’s likely he will join DAZN.

With the large number of Mexican subscribers they have generated through the likes of Canelo and now Mickey Garcia, It seems like a perfect home for Ramirez and the fact that Bivol is also with DAZN it may make it more appealing for Ramirez.

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Gilberto Ramirez Set for Kovalev vs. Yarde Winner

Posted on 08/23/2019

By: Shane Willoughby

The former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez will become the mandatory of the winner of Kovalev vs Yarde.

As a WBO champion, once you move to a different weight division, it is a rule for you to become mandatory for the WBO champion in that division. This is something we have seen quite a few times this year when both Saunders and Usyk became a mandatory challenger in their division.

June 16, 2015, Hollywood, Ca. — Undefeated Mexican knockout artist and No. 2-world-rated super middleweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez works out during media day at Fortunes Boxing Gym in Hollywood,Ca. , Tuesday for his upcoming main event, Friday, June 26, at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, TX. where he will be taking on DERECK “The Black Lion” EDWARDS in a 10- round super middleweight bout which will be televised live on The MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV® at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank and Zapari Boxing Promotions, in association with Nord Boxing Promotions and Zanfer Promotions, This live boxing series is presented by truTV and Top Rank®, and produced in association with HBO Sports®.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

What does this mean for both Yarde and Kovalev? The winner of Saturday’s bout is set to face, arguably a tougher opponent than the one in front of them now.

Gilberto Ramirez is 40-0 and made 6 successful defences of his WBO super middleweight title before moving up to light heavyweight and then stopping Veteran Tommy Karpency.

For Kovalev, the Mexican fighter could be a massive hindrance to his plans, as the Russian is looking to Face cash cow Canelo at the end of the year, but may have to face Ramirez before. Which could be a much harder task than Yarde who is inexperienced and untested.

For the Brit to get past Kovalev will be a historic achievement, especially when you consider the fact that he is travelling to the champions home town. However, many say that the ‘Krusher’ is on the slide and past his best.

So even if Yarde pulls off the miraculous task and beats Kovalev, many will argue that he has a much tougher task ahead of him once Ramirez becomes mandatory.

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Jose Ramirez Unifies Belts with TKO over Maurice Hooker

Posted on 07/28/2019

By Robert Aaron Contreras

WBC, nay, unified junior welterweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez is the hottest fighter in the division following a thrilling Saturday night at the College Parker Center in Arlington, Texas, his opponent Maurice Hooker’s de-facto hometown. Ramirez snatched Hooker’s WBO belt with a knockout flurry in the sixth round.

Ramirez (25-0, 17 KO) showed no qualms about traveling from California to Texas. Nor did he when Hooker (26-1-3, 17 KO) nearly spun his head around with check hooks and jolting jabs. The newly-unified beltholder fought through his opponent’s reach advantage, working his patented one-two combination thoroughly and consistently until finally he found his moment to take out Hooker.

“I threw that one-two that works perfectly for me,” Ramirez said after the fight. “He landed some good shots. But real champions always have faith in themselves. I was here with one mission: to be the unified champion of the world.”

Ramirez looked every bit like a man on a mission to open the title tilt. The center of the ring immediately belonged to him and Hooker was soon stumbling backwards from quick flurries. Hooker did straighten out his lengthy jab. But Ramirez stepped on his foot that again caused the taller man lose his balance and hit the deck.

Referee Mark Nelson, at the merciless command of watching a fight in realtime with no replay, called a knockdown. Ramirez at least affirmed the round in his favor by closing the period slipping Hooker’s long arms and stuffing short, straight left hands into his opponent.

In Round 2, Ramirez tried jabbing his way in. But Hooker sat back, relying on his incredible size, and spearing elongated right hands through Ramirez’s guard and occasionally circling out and away to his left with check hooks.

The momentum though was again in Ramirez’s corner in the final minute when he finally pinned his man to the ropes. With Hooker’s back stuck there, Ramirez pressed his weight onto his championship counterpart for leverage and pitched overhand shots to the head.

Ramirez’s navigation looked a little different in the third stanza. Instead of driving forward, the WBC champ shot quick punches upstairs and sidestepped to either side of Hooker. The movement did not stop Hooker from stunning him with chopping right hands in the waning moments of the round… or the chippy punches that ensued after the bell.

Ramirez caught Hooker’s attention in the fourth frame: jab upstairs, left hook to the liver and right back upstairs with a left hook. From there the round reached its symposium of violence, more chippy action resulting in blistering, two-way action.

In Round 5, Hooker’s jab was as daunting as ever—his 80-inch reach longer than many standout heavyweights—but complimented the punch with interchanging checkmark-shaped uppercuts. Ramirez also found moments of success, chasing Hooker down, crashing punches into his man’s raised gloves. Not every punch landed cleanly but it was pouring on enough to prevent any return from Hooker, whose long arms became obsolete in close quarters.

But what a round it was, the crowd worked their way into the broadcast when Hooker turned his focus to Ramirez’s midsection.

Both men traded jabs in the fateful, sixth period. Less frenetic than the round before, the pace could not have lulled Hooker to sleep but the left hand that clipped him with under two minutes to go nearly did. Hooker was visibly hurt and Ramirez pounced with 10 unanswered shots. Referee Nelson had no choice but to call an end to the title fight as Hooker’s eyes basically rolled to the back of his head.

According to CompuBox, Ramirez landed 99 of 414 total punches (24 percent) and Hooker actually connected on 129 of 360 (36 percent).

DAZN correspondent Chris Mannix asked Ramirez if he had his eyes and heart on unifying even more belts when they become available following the proposed Regis Prograis vs. Josh Taylor WBSS finale.

“Of course, those are the top guys,” Ramirez answered. “I want to get all the titles—that’s my goal.”

Tevin Farmer def. Guillaume Frenois by unanimous decision

Farmer cruised to another successful title defense—and cruise is certainly the right word. He was extended the entire 12-round distance by his challenger Frenois, of France. And for the second time in a row the American world champion took the last couple rounds off. In the end the judges still awarded Farmer the fight on scores of 116-111, 116-111 and 119-108.

A big speed advantage was quickly realized by Farmer, leading Frenois around early on. Frenois opened up in the third. But the defending champion was back on top over the next couple rounds.

In Round 6, Farmer would be warned for a blow that strayed way below the belt. It could not have happened at a worst time for the challenger as it was Frenois’ best round so far. Another low blow occurred in the tenth period and referee Mark Calo-oy couldn’t let it go, deducting the American a point.

The foul did nothing to convince Farmer to close out the show emphatically. For in the final stages, Frenois clipped his man with multiple left hooks and conceivably stole the final three rounds. In the end, it did not matter.

A glance at CompuBox suggests the right man won. Farmer landed 167 of 636 total punches (26 percent) while Frenois connected on 75 of 425 total punches (18 percent).

In the post-fight interview, Farmer summed up his performance before eluding to why he let off the gas across the finish line.

“I came out here and did what I had to do,” Farmer said. “My hands are always messed up. I come in here and I win and I keep winning.

“I don’t care about the crowd,” Farmer continued as Frenois could be seen in the backdrop, propped up on the corner post to draw cheers from the Texas audience. “You going to love me or you going to hate me. My speed and my IQ won the fight,” Farmed concluded.

When asked of the possibility of unifying his belt with WBA belt holder Gervonta Davis, Farmer took the opportunity to set the record straight and express the plans he has in mind for his career.

“Eddie Hearn has sent [Davis] multiple offers,” Farmer said. “I want all the champions out there. But if I can’t make those fights, give me JoJo Diaz.”

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Fight Preview: Ramirez vs. Hooker, Farmer vs. Frenois

Posted on 07/26/2019

By: Robert Aaron Contreras

This Saturday, on DAZN, a unification is at hand between WBC beltholder Jose Carlos Ramirez and WBO claimant Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker. This despite the the heavy criticism both men faced for not joining the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).

So while the WBSS finale between fellow junior welterweight champions Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor remains in limbo, the title staged is being propped up in Arlington, Texas—not far from Dallas where Hooker was a touted amateur fighter.

Ramirez vs. Hooker, 140-pound unification

Undefeated in 53 fights between them, both men regrettably turned in iffy performances earlier this year.

Hooker, for one, admitted in March to not taking seriously his challenger Mikkel LesPierre. As a result, it took the 29-year-old defending champ three attempts on the scales before finally hitting the 140-pound mark.

In Hooker’s defense—literally—LesPierre hardly edged a single round. Hooker turned him away by wide margins, befuddling the challenger at the end of his own 80-inch reach. The Texas-born boxer repeatedly straightened out his jab into LesPierre, peppering the New York transplant up and down. Mostly down, with a keen focus on setting up left hooks to the body.

A left hand from Hooker to the liver in the ninth round resulted in the only official knockdown. But additionally in the fifth stanza, a combination wobbled LesPierre, eventually falling to the canvas in a delayed reaction, which referee Benjy Esteves inexplicably called a slip.

Nonetheless, Hooker only gave up three rounds across all three judges’ scorecards. It was a dominant outing following a melee with Alex Saucedo, a finely-tuned combination puncher. Hooker was nearly finished in the second round by Saucedo. Hooker though finally got to his man, and pelted him down in the fateful seventh round.

It was a bruising display for a man with a frame such that it might suggest he can only box and move, relying on his gigantic arms that often make for awkward inside-punching sequences. But hanging back and utilizing his cartoonish length is never a bad plan either. His reach is without a doubt the longest of any high-level junior welterweight and lengthier than even heavyweights like Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz.

Andy Ruiz Jr., of course, proved the shorter—less imposing—man can always prevail. Ramirez will try to turn the same trick.

In addition to a unification, this weekend also represents Ramirez’s third title defense. He is unbeaten since turning professional in 2012. His has been a natural development in California, becoming a hit in his native Fresno. So much so Hooker reportedly wanted no part in fighting in his opponent’s domain, per BoxingScene.

Ramirez, though, had no problem traveling to Texas or even New York where he triumphed over Albany, NY’s own Amir Imam. In 2018, the visiting fighter earned the WBC belt, bullying Imam en route to a decision victory.

Ramirez, 26, secured his next two title defenses back home in Fresno. First he banged up the world-rated Antonio Orozco for a points win. His second defense against the excellent southpaw Jose Zepeda was not as easy as Ramirez escaped with a split-decision.

Zepeda however had never before been decisively beaten. A perennial contender, the Mexican challenger is not just a tricky southpaw but one with power, to boot. Ramirez experienced that firsthand, hardly landing cleanly on Zepeda. But the champion’s output was just enough to nick the rounds he needed. Fights at the elite level tend to be tit for tat. This one could have went either way.

Ramirez in proving he could pull himself out of a tough go and win big fights was the real takeaway.

Tevin Farmer vs. Guillaume Frenois, 130-pound title fight

Interestingly enough, both men here are coming off fighting the same opponent: Jono Carroll.

Frenois, a 35-year-old Frenchman, took on Carroll first. The two met last December in an eliminator for Farmer’s belt. Carroll, of Ireland—sporting too thick a beard for a boxing match that typically requires shaving down such facial hair—took an early lead. Frenois though bided his time, riding his bicycle, until Carroll’s barnstorming assault simmered down. As Carroll’s stalking approach became less creative, the French boxer applied a nice jab fighting in reverse to take back the second half of the bout.

The two settled for a split-draw, a reasonable decision.

Farmer’s time with Carroll was not any more fun. In March, the 28-year-old American headlined his first show on DAZN. It doubled as a homecoming defense in his native Philadelphia—a welcome occasion after lifting the strap in enemy territory over the Australian Billy Dib.

Carroll again got off to an early lead and by the end threw over 1,000 punches the champion’s way. The scrappy challenger ended up pushing Farmer the distance. Farmer was miserably unmotivated to fire back through the early-to-middle stages. But he turned it up in the final handful of rounds: clearly beating Carroll to the punch: clearly a combatant built for the championship distance.

Farmer has only punched in six knockouts in his 34-bout career. His fists were still mighty enough in 2018 to take out a puncher like James Tennyson by fifth-round TKO, focusing on piercing his challenger’s midsection. Farmer’s punch selection was daunting, adapting to lack of freak physical traits and relying on accuracy which matters most when dishing out liver shots. Farmer has always been one for adapting, developing over his career from an 8-4-1 club fighter, to a surging world champion, unconquered since 2013.

Frenois, far older than Farmer, is similarly a southpaw and undefeated since 2013 all the same. Amid his 15-fight win streak, the French stylist claimed in 2016 the European title, decisioning Samir Ziani, who remains Top 15 by multiple sanctioning bodies.

Two title defenses of the Euro belt followed before Frenoi left his beloved France for Yorkshire in the United Kingdom to pair off with Carroll.

Now Frenois has at last a crack at the world level. Few expect him to outduel his fellow southpaw. But a touch taller than Farmer, with a reliable chin to take whatever the champ has, it is not an impossible scenario.

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Gilberto Ramirez Opens the Door for Billy Joe Saunders to Make History

Posted on 05/15/2019

By: Shane Willoughby

Gilberto Ramirez vacated his WBO Super Middleweight Title on Monday; a title he has held since 2016, making 7 successful title defenses.

Ramirez looked impressive in his last bout moving to 40-0.

The Mexican was expected to relinquish his title last month after his stoppage of Tommy Karpency at Light Heavyweight. Gilberto Ramírez’s Jump up to 175lbs is inevitable and in the process, he has presented an amazing opportunity for Billy Joe Saunders to make history.

Jan 24, 2015, Broomfield,Co. — Undefeated No. 2-world-rated super middleweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez of Mazatlan, Mexico wins an 10-round unanimous decision over Maxim Vlasov of Russia
, Saturday, at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield,Co. — Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Saunders (27-0) will be fighting for the vacant WBO Super Middleweight title this Saturday against Shefat Isufi, looking to become only the 6th English born fighter to be a 2 weight-world champion.

Saunders could possibly join Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank Sr and Ricky Hatton with a victory over Isufi.

The British fighter was stripped of his WBO Middleweight title last year after failing a drug test for a nasal spray, but has since then, decided to continue his career at 168lbs.

If the former Middleweight champion is victorious this Saturday, it could present some big domestic fights for him, including a rematch with Eubank Jr and a possible unification fight with Callum Smith.

Similarly to Saunders, Ramirez being a former WBO champion, means that he is entitled to fight for the belt at the weight class above.

The Mexican could possibly become mandatory for the title at 175lbs, where Sergey Kovalev looks to be defending his title against Anthony Yarde.

Regardless what route Ramirez takes, it appears that his time at the Super-Middleweight division is over, and Britain may have a new world champion in the process.

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ESPN+ Boxing Results: Lomachenko and Ramirez Dominate In Victory

Posted on 04/13/2019

By: Hans Themistode

As expected, Vasyl lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) absolutely destroyed Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs). The contest took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

No one expected Crolla to stand a chance and that is exactly how it played out tonight. Lomachenko started off fast. In the opening round he came out aggressive, landing big shots while not giving Crolla a chance to land something in response. In the following round it was much of the same. Crolla just couldn’t get his offense going. Round three was an utter beating. Lomachenko forced his opponent to the ropes and unleashed a barrage of punches. What followed shortly after was a bizarre sequence.

Lomachenko landed a ton of shots which had Crolla in serious trouble. The referee looked on closely as though he wanted to stop the fight. Crolla did not throw a punch in return but he did manage to block the majority of shots coming his way. Shortly after Lomachenko continued dishing out his beating the referee stepped in and seemed to wave off the contest. Lomachenko jumped on the ropes and celebrated. To the surprise of many the match was not over. Instead the ref was simply giving Crolla a standing ten count. It confused many fans in the crowd as it seemed as though Crolla’s gloves never actually touched the floor. It was a confusing sequence but Crolla was given another chance to continue the fight.

The following round Lomachenko wasted no time finishing off his man. Another strong attack by Lomachenko resulted in Crolla hitting the canvas face down. The referee immediately called off the match.

There is no sugar coating what took place tonight, it was a mismatch, non-competitive, just a terrible fight. Lomachenko didn’t prove anything tonight. What happened tonight was expected.

Anthony Crolla was not the only one who was overwhelmed tonight. Tommy Carpency (29-7-1, 18 KOs) was dominated tonight in the co main event by Gilberto Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs). It was the first fight for Ramirez at Light Heavyweight and he proved that he can become a force in the division. From the start Ramirez dictated the pace of the fight.

It took Ramirez only four rounds to stop Carpency. After the contest it seemed as though Carpency was in a car wreck. That isn’t just hyperbole either. Ramirez dominated the action. He could be knocking on the door of a title shot in his new division in the not to distant future.

It was a night filled with mismatches. Both Gilberto Ramirez and Vasyl Lomachenko looked impressive tonight. Let’s all hope that we will see both of these fighters back in the ring soon but this time against much better opposition.

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Crolla, Ramirez vs. Carpency

Posted on 04/11/2019

By: Hans Themistode

Vasiliy Lomachenko, (12-1, 9 KOs) will once again have his skills on full display come Friday night. The unified Lightweight champion will have both his WBA and WBO titles on the line when he takes on former title holder Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs). This isn’t the high profile match fans were expecting to see Lomachenko in but nonetheless it’s what we’re getting.

Since losing back to back bouts against Jorge Linares, Crolla has rebounded nicely with three straight victories. Those wins weren’t just against unknown opponents either. Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan aren’t exactly murderers row but they are more than respectable opposition.

The former WBA belt holder has faced his fair share of great fighters. However, in the case of Lomachenko, he will be facing someone who is unanimously recognized as the best fighter on the planet.

Most have already ruled Crolla out, and with good reason. In just 13 professional fights Lomachenko has plowed through the competition. With two Olympic gold medals, over 390 wins in his amateur days and multiple titles in several divisions, Lomachenko is a talent we have seldom ever seen.

Crolla has heard it all before. He has always been doubted. He was never supposed to box again following his traumatic accident in 2014 where he attempted to stop burglars at a neighbors home. Crolla beat the odds. How about his title challenge against Darleys Perez? He was given no chance, yet he not only won but he stopped the champion in the fifth round. Crolla than went on to defeat Ismael Barroso in his first title defense when yet again many thought he could not get it done.

His matchup against Lomachenko follows the same theme that has followed him his entire career. Doubt him if you want, but he may just beat the odds yet again come Friday night.

In the co main event we have an interesting matchup. Current WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez, (39-0, 25 KOs) is moving up to Light Heavyweight to take on Tommy Carpency, (29-6-1, 18 KOs).

On paper it is a matchup that Ramirez should dominate. However, with the current champion moving up in weight the added pounds could play a factor in the contest.

Since winning the WBO Super Middleweight title in 2016, Ramirez has had a forgettable reign. Through no fault of his own he has not been able to secure big fights. Although his matchup with Carpency is not considered a significant matchup by any stretch of the imagination, it is a contest where if all goes well, could see Ramirez challenge for a title later this year.

Ramirez has the height, power and skill to make an impressive run in his new division. Carpency on the other hand isn’t looking to simply collect a paycheck come Fight night. He has rattled off three consecutive wins and will be looking to once again challenge for a world title.

Carpency, to his credit, picked up the biggest win of career in 2014 as a massive underdog when he took on former pound for pound fighter Chad Dawson. It will take that sort of spirited effort from Carpency if he intends to defeat Ramirez.

A win for either man could place them in title contention.

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Top Rank Boxing Results: Ramirez Squeaks Past Zepeda In Front Of Hometown Crowd

Posted on 02/10/2019

By: Sean Crose

Japan’s Hiroki Okada, 19-0, faced the popular vet Raymundo Beltran, 35-8-1, in a scheduled 10 round junior welterweight affair at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California on a Sunday night card aired live on ESPN. The first round was close, but Okada was landing more effectively. Beltran sent his man to the mat in the second, courtesy of a mean left. Okada got up on an eight count and didn’t appear badly hurt. Yet, in the final minute of the round, it was Beltran who got rocked by an Okada right. Beltran seemed to be getting an edge heading to the halfway mark. Okada, however, looked a bit sharper than Beltran in the 6th.

Okada continued to impress in the seventh, courtesy of a sharp jab and effective use of range. The fight continued on at a relatively exciting pace. In the ninth, however, things ended in explosive fashion. Beltran dropped his man once, but Okada got up. Beltran dropped him again..and referee Jack Reiss wisely stopped the match.

Jose Zepeda walked into the ring a short time later. The 30-1 fighter was facing the 23-0 Jose Ramiez for the WBC junior welterweight title in a scheduled 12 round affair. The southpaw Zepeda boxed quite effectively in the first, sticking and moving and keeping the champion Ramirez from landing hard. Zepeda was able to slick his way through the second, as well. The California native was adhering to an effective game plan. A more aggressive Ramirez seemed to edge the third, though the round could have gone either way. Being a home town fight for Ramirez, one had to assume any round that wasn’t completely dominated by Zepeda might well go to Ramirez.

Ramirez started the fourth very well, but Zepeda took the last portion. The fifth saw Ramirez have his moment, but Zepeda’s effective game plan ended up telling the tale. By the end of the sixth, it was clear that the first half of the bout was a story of ring generalship, where Zepeda employed footwork to dominate his foe. Ramirez was ale to get back in the fight in the seventh, as his punches began to land on a lackadaisical seeming Zepeda. Ramirez was able to land on his man very effectively in the eighth. The ninth saw Ramirez throw the more effective shots again. The fight had become quite close. Zepeda came back and asserted his skill set in the 10th. An exhausted Zepeda took the 11th. A vicious Ramirez took the 12th in a finally rally.

The judges gave the win to hometown fighter Ramirez by scores of 114-114, 115-113, 116-112.

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2018 Upset of the Year: Ramirez Over Zlaticanin

Posted on 01/02/2019

By Jake Donovan

Roberto Ramirez wasn’t supposed to be anything more than the next step in Dejan Zlaticanin’s continued comeback following a devastating knockout loss to Mikey Garcia.

Instead, their June ’18 clash ended with Ramirez scoring a 2nd round stoppage in a result that nobody outside of Ramirez’s camp could’ve ever seen coming.

The Jan. ’17 defeat to Garcia cost the squat southpaw from Montenegro his lightweight title along with his unbeaten record. Still, he entered his intended showcase versus Ramirez 17 months removed from that debacle, still regarded as a Top 10 lightweight and as a huge betting favorite.

A quick hit of Hevinson Herrera on a Dec. ’17 New York City club show provided little more than a confidence boost and means to return to the win column, but at least suggested that he wasn’t damaged goods heading into the new year.

The six months that passed between his win over Herrera and his scheduled June 21st clash with Ramirez on a club show in the Astoria section of Queens, New York was spent further refining his game under trainer Buddy McGirt.

The two hooked up in the months following his loss to Garcia, with the intention of tightening up his defense on the occasions his all-action offensive style didn’t get the job done.

Not even extensive gym sessions with the likes of Adrian Granados or former 140-pound titlist Sergey Lipinets (who along with Zlaticanin is managed by Alex Vaysfeld) could alert the team just how much the Garcia knockout loss took out of the 34-year old southpaw.

Had everyone followed the script, a Zlaticanin win in Queens would’ve likely led to a title eliminator by year’s end and—with any luck—a crack at becoming a two-time lightweight titlist at some point in 2019.

All that he needed to happen here was to show what he can do against a taller, leaner lightweight in Ramirez, who was a mere 17-2-1 at the time and who fell short in his lone other bout outside of his native Mexico. In fact, there was little to suggest in defeats to then-unbeaten Carlos Ocampo and Abel Ramos that there was any cause for concern for an upset.

It’s why Zlaticanin entered the ring as a 45-1 betting favorite for an off-TV bout in Queens that was barely on the boxing radar.

Less than seven minutes after the opening bell, it quickly made the rounds.

Whatever confidence Zlaticanin had left prior to fight night was quickly shattered—along with his jaw, as well as a busted nose for good measure as Ramirez leveraged every bit of his considerable height and reach advantage in the first three minutes of action.

Regardless of whether he’d truly fully recovered from the loss to Garcia, it was plain as day as there was no turning back from the damage sustained in the opening round. Zlaticanin was dropped hard early in round two, a right uppercut leaving him defenseless for an ensuing right hand shot.

A last-ditch effort from the former titlist came in the form of consecutive left hands that briefly stunned Ramirez.

It was the last bit of momentum he’d enjoy in a boxing ring.

Time was called to determine the severity of Zlaticanin’s earlier injuries. By then, Ramirez was fully recovered from the preceding rally and recognized that he had in front of him a mentally spent fighter.

Nine unanswered shots—including non-consecutive right uppercuts and a fight-ending straight right—put Zlaticanin down on the canvas for the second time in the fight. The ease in which the defenseless southpaw hit the deck was more than enough reason for referee Al LoBianco Jr. to wave off the contest without issuing a count.

Far gone by that time was the once-unbeaten lightweight who’d piled up wins over the likes of Petr Petrov, then-former two-division titlist Ricky Burns (who went on to pick up a belt in a third weight class) and then-unbeaten Ivan Redkach all before claiming a lightweight belt.

So, too, was any talk of his returning to the title stage—or even the ring at all.

In comparison to other major upsets in 2018, this was so much more than the boxing public being dealt an unexpected outcome.

It wasn’t a once-highly regarded contender sneaking up on a previously unbeaten middleweight titlist like Rob Brant managed to do in overwhelming Ryota Murata in October.

It wasn’t Cristofer Rosales picking off the remaining carcass of a weight-drained—and still heavy—Daigo Higa to shake up the flyweight picture earlier in the year. Nor was it Rosales being punched back into reality by England’s Charlie Edwards by year’s end.

Tony Harrison’s upset title win over previously unbeaten Jermell Charlo in December surprised many in the industry—perhaps even Harrison himself if immediate in-ring reaction is any indicator. The true shock, however, wasn’t in Charlo being dealt his first loss, but coming in a fight where so few disagreed with the final scores.

On that particular June night in Queens, nobody outside of Ramirez’s corner gave the visiting Mexican journeyman any chance of winning. Certainly not the oddsmakers, who statistically believed Ramirez was less likely to win than Buster Douglas was the night he stunned Mike Tyson in what remains perhaps the biggest upset in modern boxing history.

The lack of profile is all that keeps Ramirez KO2 Zlaticanin out of historical conversation. The final outcome itself, however, is enough to register as the BoxingInsider.com 2018 Upset of the Year.

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Top Rank Boxing Results: Ramirez Defeats Hart

Posted on 12/15/2018

By: Hans Themistode

Gilberto Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) retained his WBO Super Middleweight title with a majority decision nod over Jesse Hart (25-2, 21 KOs) in their rematch Friday night.

Hart fought a much better fight this time around in comparison to their first bout. However he did not do quite enough to sway the judges in his favor tonight.

It was a nip and tuck affair as Hart used his reach advantage to keep Ramirez on the end of his punches. That success wouldn’t last long as Ramirez began to get closer and landed hard shots.

As the rounds went by a similar theme began to develop. Hart would do a good job of boxing and landing effective shots but Ramirez’s constant pressure and volume punching would wear Hart down as the rounds went on.

Towards the later rounds Ramirez aggression suddenly slowed and his punch output diminished as well. It was later found out that Ramirez injured his left elbow. That explained why we seldom saw the champion through a left hook throughout the rest of the contest. When we did see this punch thrown it wasn’t thrown with much aggression. It became clearer and clearer that the champions elbow was causing him serious issues. Hart took advantage by beginning to bank the latter rounds.

In round 11 the challenger was the most aggressive. He pinned the champ on the rope several times and unloaded shots on him. Ramirez responded with punches of his own but it was clear that he lacked the punching power at the moment to keep Hart off of him. The last round is where Ramirez shower true champion mettle. With essentially one hand he was beating his man to the punch by landing big blows.

At the end of the bout the scorecards were 114-114 and two scores of 115-113. It was another very entertaining bout by these fighters. The most intriguing part of this contest was the post fight commentary.

Ramirez revealed his plans to move up the 175 pound weight division. There will be no shortage of big name fighters he will be able to take on. If Ramirez can perform the way he did tonight while sustaining an injury during the contest then the rest of the 175 pound division will need to be on notice.

They seem to have a new intriguing fighter added to the already stacked division.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Hart vs. Ramirez 2

Posted on 12/14/2018

By: Hans Themistode

WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez (38-0, 25 KOs) will step into the ring for third time this year when he takes on the man that gave him his toughest bout of his career in Jesse Hart (25-1, 21 KOs). The matchup is scheduled to take place tonight in Corpus Christi Texas at the American Bank Center.

For Ramirez his reign as champion has spanned over two years but has featured underwhelming competition as he was able to blow through his opponents. His first bout against Hart last year however was his toughest to date. The victory presented Ramirez with the best win of his career.

The first fight between these two can be deceiving. Two judges scored the contest 115-112 while the third judge had it 114-113 all in favor of the champion. The nature of the close scorecards did not seem indicative of how the actual bout played out. Although Hart undoubtedly has his moments it was the champion who seemed to be in much more control. An early knockdown in round two for the champion followed by several punishing blows almost forced the referee to put a stop to the contest. The compubox numbers also spoke to the dominance of Ramirez. The champion connected on almost 100 more punches than his opponent, 220 to 132 while also connecting at a higher percentage. In short, Ramirez seemed to dominant.

Since Hart’s decision loss to Ramirez he has gone on to fight three times with all three fights ending in a knockout victory. Hart will not only be looking for his fourth straight stoppage victory of this calendar year but he will also look to even up the score with Ramirez while capturing his first world title.

The motivation for Hart will be at an all time high. Sure he will be looking to avenge the first defeat of his career and yes the thought of becoming a world champion is tantalizing as well but more then anything he will be looking to do so for not just himself but for his father as well. Eugene “Cyclone” Hart was a former top contender at Middleweight in the 1970s but never received his shot at the title. Winning this title would mean so much to not just Jesse but to his father as well.

Ramirez is not only the WBO champ but he may also be the best current Super Middleweight as well. Hart undoubtedly will have a tough task. Ramirez will be looking to make an emphatic statement this time around.

However with the current roll Hart is on along with the motivation that he will bring into this contest it should lead to another great fight tonight.

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Ramirez, Hart Both Insist Nothing Familiar Will Come Of The Sequel

Posted on 12/13/2018

By Jake Donovan

Gilberto Ramirez and Jesse Hart fought each other just 15 months ago, yet both guarantee a limited amount of familiarity when they meet the second time around.

The pair of super middleweights once again collide with Ramirez’ title on the line in their ESPN+ main event this Friday in Corpus Christi. The bout is a rematch to their thriller last September in Tucson, Arizona, with Ramirez riding a 2nd round knockdown and early lead all the way to the finish line in taking a narrow decision.

Hart put up a brave stand in the second half of their contest—which, due to conflicting broadcasts, aired on ESPNews, ESPN2 and finally on ESPN by round seven—but the rally came too late to erase the early deficit. The second-generation boxer from Philadelphia has since fought three times, winning all by knockout.

That level of violence, he promises, is the version that will arrive on Friday night.

“We went back, looked at and corrected the little mistakes that cost us in the first one,” Hart (25-1, 21KOs) said on Wednesday during their final pre-fight press conference. “Those little things we fix, you’ll see that change on Friday night.”

The defending titlist not only believes him but is banking on such an adjustment.

“I’m glad to hear he’s ready to fight,” said Ramirez (38-0, 25KOs), the unbeaten 27 year old from Mazatlan, Mexico who attempts the fifth defense of the title he won nearly three years ago. “I’m thrilled the rematch is taking place here in Corpus Christi. The last time I fought here, I had a knockout. I want another knockout on Friday.”

Interestingly, the stoppage to which Ramirez refers—a 6th round drubbing of unbeaten but unheralded Habib Ahmed this past February—is his only bout to end inside the distance over the course of his title reign which began with an April ’16 points win over Arthur Abraham. In fact, his previous knockout victory also took place in Texas, coming more than four years ago in halting Fulgencio Zuniga in eight rounds in San Antonio.

Ramirez has since been extended the distance in seven of his last eight starts, none tougher than his fending off a determined Hart in their first meet. Just two fights have followed for the defending titlist; the aforementioned stoppage victory over Ahmed and a 12-round virtual shutout of unbeaten Roamer Alexis Angulo this past June in Oklahoma City.

Still, a statement-making performance awaits or so promises the super middleweight division’s longest-reigning titlist.

“I agree with my opponent, this rematch will be different,” Ramirez notes, though of course with a twist. “It will be one-sided, and all on my side.”

For the challenger, a win would mean much more than bumping off an incumbent titlist.

Hart’s father, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart was an integral part of the thriving Philadelphia fight scene during his heyday as a middleweight contender in the 1970s. His noted punching power has left historians to regard him as among the hardest hitters in boxing history; however, it never translated into a championship or even a shot at a major title.

Now battling health issues and not even to serve his role as his son’s head trainer, the next generation has made it his duty to bring greater honor to the already revered family name.

“It would mean everything to win this belt,” Hart admits. “Ever since I started boxing, me and my dad, we never dreamed of nothing else but being a world champion.

“I’m very blessed and very humbled by this opportunity I have again. I’m just going to go out there and put on the best performance I possibly can to bring home the victory. Come Friday, you are going to see a completely different version coming for this title.”

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Ramirez and Herring Win Convincingly

Posted on 09/15/2018

Jose Ramirez didn’t want the hometown fans to leave unhappy. In front of a crowd of 11,102 at the Save Mart Center on Friday evening, Avenal native Ramirez retained the WBC super lightweight world title with a unanimous decision against fellow unbeaten Antonio Orozco. The scores were 119-107 3X.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

Ramirez (23-0, 16 KOs) knocked Orozco down with a crisp right hand in the fourth round and found success with his left hook throughout the bout. In the eighth round, Ramirez scored a knockdown with a left hook to the liver and nearly finished Orozco at the end of the round.

“This was an excellent fight, and Antonio Orozco is a true warrior,” Ramirez said. “We put it out there, and Antonio was a very tough opponent who gave it his all. A special thanks to all the people in Fresno who showed their support tonight.”

Ramirez won the belt with a hard-fought unanimous decision against Amir Imam back in March. For his first title defense, he took on a previously undefeated challenger in Orozco (27-1, 17 KOs), who on paper represented the toughest test of his career. Ramirez and Orozco went toe-to-toe and produced a championship bout for the ages.

Flanked by his Marine comrades on his way to the ring, 2012 U.S. Olympian and Marine Corps veteran Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (18-2, 10 KOs ) notched the most significant win of his carer, defeating John Vincent Moralde (20-2, 10 KOs) by 10-round unanimous decision (100-90 3X) to win the vacant USBA junior lightweight title.

“I wanted to show that I could not only make 130 pounds, but that I could be strong at the weight as well,” Herring said. “Now, I’m that much closer to a world title shot.”

In his biggest test to date, 18-year-old sensation Gabriel Flores Jr. (10-0, 5 KOs) was undeterred by the big stage and the bright lights. Flores, from Stockton, Calif., survived a first-round knockdown to defeat Roger Gutierrez by unanimous decision in a six-round lightweight bout.

The scores were as followed: 59-54, 59-54, and 58-54.
“I could’ve done better, but I was in there against a tough guy. I have no explanation for it, but my legs locked up in the early rounds. I started moving in the last rounds, and my legs were feeling better. I boxed him and got the victory. All I can do from here is learn from this experience.

“I came back strong. I know l will be better next time out.”

In other action:

Vacant USBA Welterweight Title: Alexander Besputin (11-0, 9 KOs), TKO 9, 1:44, Alan Sanchez (20-4-1, 10 KOs).

Besputin said: “I feel very grateful to be signed by Top Rank, the best promotional company in the world. I now want all of the big names at 135, including the winner of Lomachenko and Pedraza.”

Super Lightweights: Hiroki Okada (19-0, 13 KOs), split decision, 10 rounds, Cristian Cora (27-7-2, 11 KOs). Scores: 95-94 Okada, 95-94 Coria, 95-94 Okada.

* Okada knocked down in the 10th round by Coria right hand.

Lightweights: Bryan Vasquez (38-3, 20 KOs), unanimous decision, 10 rounds, Carlos Cardenas (21-15-1, 13 KOs). Scores: 98-92, 96-94, 96-94 .

Vasquez said: “I feel very grateful to be signed by Top Rank, the best promotional company in the world. I now want all of the big names at 135, including the winner of Lomachenko and Pedraza.”

Featherweights: Isidro Ochoa (6-0, 2 KOs), KO 3, 2:14, Elio De Jesus (2-3, 0 KOs).

Super Bantamweights: Santos Ortega (3-0, 1 KO), unanimous decision, 4 rounds, Sebastian Baltazar (1-2, 0 KOs). Scores: 40-36, 40-36, 40-36.

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ESPN Boxing Preview: Ramirez vs. Orozco

Posted on 09/12/2018

By: Ken Hissner

Unbeaten WBC World Super Lightweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez will defend his title Friday night against No. 3 ranked Antonio “Relentless” Orozco at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.

This will be the first title defense for Ramirez, 22-0 (16) who won the vacant title in March defeating Amir “Young Master” Imam, then 21-1, at Madison Square Garden, New York.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

Orozco, 27-0 (17), from San Diego, CA, last fought in March winning an 8 round decision over Mexico’s Martin “El Brochas” Honorio, 33-13-1. He also defeated him back in May of 2014. He has wins over Emmanuel Taylor, 18-3, Steve Forbes, 35-13, Humberto “Little Fox” Soto, 65-8-2, Abner Lopez, 23-5, Ivan Hernandez, 29-3, and Keandre Gibson, 16-0-1.

Prior to the Imam fight Ramirez defeated Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed, then 23-0. The 26 year-old represented the USA in the 2012 Olympics. He lost in the second round. He won five straight US championships and in the 2011 World Championships in Baku, AZE, he lost in the second round to current WBA Lightweight champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukraine’s Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 16-9. In the 2012 Olympic Qualifier he won a Bronze medal losing to current unbeaten Dominican Wellington Romero, 14-0-1.

As a professional Ramirez won the NABF and WBC Continental Americas titles prior to becoming a world champion. He is trained by Freddie Roach and promoted by Top Rank.

The co-feature has Russian Alexander Besputin, 10-0 (8), living in Oxnard, CA, taking on Mexican Alan Sanchez, 20-3-1, of Fairfield, CA, for the vacant USBA Welterweight title. This has a loaded undercard.
Also, on the card are Japan’s WBO Asia Pacific Super Lightweight champ Hiroki Okada, 18-0 (13), taking on Argentina’s Cristian Rafael Coria, 27-6-2 (11). 2012 USA Olympian southpaw Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 17-2 (10), of Cinn., OH, taking on Filipino John Vincent “Mulawin” Moralde, 20-1 (10), for the vacant USBA Super Featherweight title.

Costa Rica’s Super Featherweight No. 4 WBA contender Bryan “El Tiquito” Vasquez, 36-3 (20), takes on Venezuela’s Carlos “El Profeta” Cardenas, 23-14-1 (14), living in Mexico. Vasquez in his last bout won the WBA Fedelatin title. He has wins over Sergio Thompson, 30-3, Jose Felix, Jr., 27-0-1, and losses to Javier Fortuna, for the vacant WBA World Super Feather title and “Sugar” Ray Beltran, by majority decision who in his next fight won the WBO World Lightweight title.

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The Champ is Home: Jose Ramirez to Make First Title Defense in Front of Hometown Fans

Posted on 07/06/2018

The dream has been realized. Now, it’s time for Jose Ramirez to get down to business.

Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs), from Avenal, California, will make the first defense of his WBC super lightweight world title against Danny O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs) on Saturday in front of a projected sold-out crowd at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. It’s the building Ramirez packed several times on his journey to a world title.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Ramirez-O’Connor and the 10-round welterweight showdown between NABF champion Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Juan Carlos Abreu will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The entire undercard will be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET and includes heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. (30-1, 20 KOs) against Kevin Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder, undefeated Andy Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title against Frank De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder, and 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe Flores Jr. (8-0, 5 KOs) against James De Herrera (4-3, 3 KOs) in a six-round lightweight contest.

The fighters gathered Thursday at the final press conference at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. This is what they had to say.

Jose Ramirez

“It’s quite an honor for me to bring this type of fight, this type of entertainment, to Central California. To fight my first title defense in front of my biggest fans, my closest friends and my family, it’s a blessing.”

“We’re calling this event ‘Protecting Home’ because we’re protecting those that belong here in this country, who fight every day and contribute to this community. We’re also protecting what belongs to us, which is a world title.”

On switching from Freddie Roach to Robert Garcia as head trainer

“I think what went on with that change was loyalty and the fact that we do so much outside of the ring as well. Robert is a guy who is from Oxnard, a very similar community to Central California. He understands the work ethic and what we represent, what we do. And he wants to be a part of it. He’s very motivated to train me. He’s very excited to train me. That makes it easier for me to be motivated and to be excited to stay in this sport. Freddie is a great man. He’s very respected. He always respected me as a fighter, but he had so many world champions, and I needed to feel more of that loyalty and excitement from him. And I think I found it now in Riverside with a lot of undefeated prospects, good prospects, and future world champions at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.”

Danny O’Connor

“First and foremost, I’m a father and a husband, so that’s the most important thing. After taking a knockout in that form {a first-round stoppage loss versus Gabriel Bracero in October 2015} when I had never even been dropped in the gym before, I had to assess my personal health to make sure I was able to be that father, that husband I needed to be. It wasn’t so much taking time away from the sport, it was kind of just re-evaluating to make sure I was OK mentally and physically and still able to compete at the level I needed to be in a fight like this.”

“I feel grateful to be in this position. I’ve worked very hard inside the ring and outside the ring to overcome so much adversity to be here today. I never quit. I never gave up on myself. I never lost hope.”

Egidijus Kavaliauskas

“I’m just happy to fight in Fresno. It’s close to where I live in Oxnard. It’s very nice here. It’s very hot. On Saturday, it will be even hotter inside the ring. It’ll be a very good fight.”

Juan Carlos Abreu

“I feel very good. I’m ready to take the title back home to the Dominican Republic.”

Andy Ruiz Jr.

“My goal is to fight the big names out there. The main thing is to stay on track, stay on the right side and in shape, and get ready for whatever comes in 2018.”

“I’m in good condition. After my last fight March 10 {a first-round stoppage over Devin Vargas}, I’ve been in the gym ever since. I’m training really hard, taking it more seriously. It’s my time for this year and next year. The main thing is to stay in shape and be prepared.”

Gabe Flores Jr.

“I sold a bunch of tickets out here. I’m glad a lot of people are supporting me, and for my family to see me fight, it’s beautiful. There’s only one person that I wish could be here, and it’s my mother. She’s up there, but she’s going to be watching me, and she’s going to give me the energy I need to fight.”

On building his hometown of Stockton, California, as a boxing market

“I have amazing support in Stockton, California. We’re going to be there eventually. It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to fight in front of my people.”

Andy Vences

“{The Erick De Leon fight} was a technical fight. It ended in a draw. I do what I always do. I looked back at the fight, saw what adjustments I could’ve made, and moving forward, those are adjustments I’m going to show for this fight. The fans are in for it. They’re going to get their money’s worth because every time I fight at the Save Mart Center, I bring action, I bring knockouts.”

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