Gilberto Ramirez has successfully retained his WBO super-middleweight championship with a majority-decision victory over American counterpart Jesse Hart.
In a scrappy yet highly spirited affair neither fighter definitively asserted their authority on the contest, but it was the champion who appeared to be more comfortable of the pair throughout the early proceedings courtesy of his superior work-rate and trademark combinations to the midsection.
Hart nevertheless was able to enjoy sporadic success by connecting with some powerful counter-punches; albeit ones that were unable to nullify Zurdo’s consistent forward momentum and seriously disrupt his composure, unlike the eleventh round of their first fight.
However, in the eighth round, Hart – as per the earnest admonitions of trainer Fred Jenkins – adopted a decidedly more lively and mobile approach, and was able to capitalise on his substantial reach advantage in order to frustrate Ramirez, and the fight further took a dramatic turn in the following round when it transpired that Ramirez had sustained an elbow injury that was significantly hindering output from his left hand.
The fight by this point was degenerating into an increasingly messy affair as a tiring yet determined Hart elected to roughhouse an injured Ramirez on the inside, employing tactics of questionable legality, but was ultimately unable to overpower the tenacious champion.
Hart was also repeatedly stung by a series of right hooks as he desperately pursued the stoppage in the final round, but returned the favour with a devastating uppercut in the final seconds of the fight.
The challenger was visibly distraught with the scorecards of 114-114, and 115-113 twice in favour of Ramirez, who expressed a desire to move up and challenge newly-crowned WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk provided he is unable to secure any meaningful ventures at super-middleweight.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________