Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez eked out a majority decision win over Jesse Hart on Friday night in Corpus Christi, Texas, retaining his WBO super middleweight title on scores of 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113.
BLH had two cards, both even at 114-114.
Ramirez (39-0, 25 KO) did good body work, particularly early in the fight, and for spells was able to outbox Hart (25-2, 21 KO). But Hart battled his way back into the fight as the night wore on, and got a big break in the latter stages, when Ramirez injured his elbow and was barely able to throw his power left hand without grimacing in pain.
The 12th round, though, is what most will remember, where Ramirez ignored the pain and came with a two-fisted attack, rocking the challenger around the ring. Hart, though, didn’t go quietly, as he poured on some pressure of his own late in the frame and did some damage in the closing seconds of the fight.
In the end, Ramirez just edged out another victory, but this was another good fight between these two, and even though neither of them moved the needle beyond the sport’s diehard fans, both fighters can be proud of what they produced.
After the bout, Ramirez, 27, said he’ll move up in weight, as he doesn’t see any big fights available at 168 pounds, which is a fair enough reading of the landscape. With most of the super middleweight division’s better fighters linked to DAZN or PBC, there really isn’t much left for him to do at 168.
At 175, meanwhile, well, there’s WBC titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who is also with Top Rank and could make for an interesting fight down the line, though obviously that’s something Top Rank would probably like to build a smidge more. The Alvarez-Kovalev II winner could be available, as they fight Feb. 2 on ESPN for Eleider Alvarez’s WBO and IBF belts. Dmitry Bivol, the WBA “world” champion, still has to figure out what’s next in his career. And even someone like veteran Sullivan Barrera, currently a free agent, would be a good first test in the new division.
As for Hart, the Philadelphia native was obviously a bit dejected, and felt he deserved to win the fight. He says he’ll be staying at 168 pounds, where he could potentially find himself in line to fight for the belt again if Ramirez vacates and moves up as he says he will.