Gilberto Ramírez achieved victory with the scorecards in his favor 99-91, 99-91, 99-91, in an entertaining eliminator fight for the WBA cruiserweight title.
LAS VEGAS – Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez victory of Joe Smith Jr. by unanimous decision points, in his first fight as a cruiserweight.
Ramírez achieved victory with the scorecards in his favor, 99-91, 99-91, 99-91, in an entertaining 10-round WBA cruiserweight title eliminator bout in the main event of a card organized by Golden Child.
It was a fight with a difference in styles, with a more patient Ramírez, picking the punches and thus destroying Smith with body blows and then following up with head combinations.
Smith, on the other hand, was content to charge and throw powerful rights to the head that were often missed.
35 percent of Ramirez’s punches landed (59 of 169) were punches, and 51 of those 59 (86%) were power hits. Ramírez was also accurate, hitting 31 percent.
Smith landed 96 of his 266 power punches.
“He had a hard hand, but like a good Mexican, I was able to withstand the punishment,” said Ramírez. “I have to be smart all the time, and that’s what I do.”
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Ramirez, who improved to 45-1, weighed 191.6 pounds. Smith weighed 191.8 pounds and his record fell to 28-5.
“I did my best; he boxed really well tonight,” said Smith, who is fighting for the first time since June 18, 2022, when he lost by TKO to Artur Beterbiev.
“I felt that my feet were a bit heavy today and I didn’t release as much as I used to, but I’m happy with my performance. I only hurt it a few times, but I’m happy to be here.”
Smith said he will not fight again at 175 pounds.
The same goes for Ramírez, 32, who doesn’t just want to fight Dmitry Bivol after losing by unanimous decision (111-117, 111-117, 110-118) to him, in Abu Dhabi, on November 5, 2022, for the WBA super heavyweight world title, but the Mexican has bigger ambitious plans .
“Of course, he hurt my ego, my soul and as a Mexican I want a rematch, I want to beat him,” said Ramírez. “I want to do my best … I don’t have to look back. I have to look forward, and whoever is in front, I have to beat them.
“I don’t see the point of going back (to 175) … I want to be the first Mexican cruiserweight champion. That’s my goal and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
What if Ramírez wins a class title and Canelo Álvarez decides to move up to cruiserweight at some point?
Ramírez said it will be like the rivalry between Juan Manuel Márquez and Marco Antonio Barrera from the early 2000s.
“It’s a good fight, all the fans want to see two Mexicans in the ring, all the time,” said Ramirez.
In the co-main event, WBA Intercontinental Super Middleweight Champion Bektemir Melikuziev (13-1, 10) defeated Alantez Fox (28-5-1) by fourth-round TKO.