ESPN Friday Night Fights results: Gilberto Ramirez stops Giovanni Lorenzo in fifth round

Chris Farina - Top Rank

Gilberto Ramirez and Jesse Hart were both victorious on tonight's ESPN Friday Night Fights from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, setting up tomorrow's Pacquiao-Bradley show from Top Rank and HBO pay-per-view.

Mexican super middleweight prospect Gilberto Ramirez stayed perfect with a TKO-5 win tonight on ESPN Friday Night Fights against veteran Giovanni Lorenzo, scoring three official knockdowns en route to the win.

Ramirez (28-0, 22 KO) forced Lorenzo to take a knee in the third round, having hurt him pretty obviously before a body shot forced Lorenzo to the canvas. In the fifth round, Lorenzo dropped a glove to the mat, then did so again moments later. Referee Jay Nady, doing his usual spectacular job, was cool with letting the fight continue even though Lorenzo (33-7, 25 KO) clearly didn't want to be in there anymore, but luckily the Dominican/New Yorker's corner read the body language and stopped the fight before it got any worse.

It was a pretty dominant performance for the 22-year-old southpaw Ramirez, who was able to consistently land clean shots and overpower the smaller Lorenzo, a veteran scrapper and former world title challenger who has now become a gatekeeper. For his age, Ramirez has scored some good wins over this level of fighter, and this is just another one.

Stylistically, Lorenzo sort of reminded me of Andy Lee, which can be good or bad. Lee, like Ramirez, is a pretty straight up-and-down fighter who is effective up to a point, but Lee was exposed badly against a better class of opponent over time. Ramirez thus far is moving quicker than Lee did, and might have more natural talent, but it's a style that can be exploited. Ramirez has a lot of time to get better, and already has some good experience under his belt. He's definitely an intriguing prospect worth watching from here on.

Jesse Hart improved to 13-0 (10 KO) with an eight-round decision win over Samuel Clarkson (10-3, 6 KO), dropping Clarkson twice in the fourth round but not really dominating with any flair or fashion. That said, it was eight rounds for Hart -- a first -- and he's got some tape to study and learn from, which is a good thing. But he definitely has some work to do, which is not really news. The 24-year-old super middleweight made his pro debut on the Pacquiao-Bradley I undercard, so he's still very new to the pro game. Teddy Atlas repeatedly pointed out Hart smothering his own work by falling in, and that's one key to work on going forward, obviously.

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