Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (45-1, 30 KOs) looked like a new fighter, using movement to defeat Joe Smith Jr. (28-5, 22 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision in a WBA cruiserweight title eliminator on Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Ramirez was at his best in the first six rounds, using movement to avoid Smith Jr’s thunderous punches.
From seven on, Smith got the better of the action with his huge shots, as Ramirez was too tired to continue moving as he’d done earlier.
Ramirez’s trainer Malik Scott, told him to spin Smith Jr. nonstop, and he did a good job of doing that.
It wasn’t particularly exciting to watch Ramirez moving around the ring like a bigger, much slower version of Shakur Stevenson, but it worked well enough for him to grind out a one-sided decision.
The scores were 99-91, 99-91 and 99-91. Those scores were way out of wack from the actual fight, as it was a much closer fight than what the three judges scored.
When Ramirez challenges for the WBA cruiserweight title against champion Arsen Goulamirian, it would work in his favor to have the three judges who worked tonight doing the scoring because they obviously saw something in his style against Smith that makes them score the contest so wide.
Boxing 247 will give live updates & results of tonight’s action on the Ramirez-Smith event below.
– In the chief support fight, super middleweight Bektemir ‘The Bully’ Melikuziev (13-1,10 KOs) used his vicious power to stop Alantez Fox (28-5-1,13 KOs) in round four. Melikuziev knocked Fox down with a body shot in the fourth.
The fight was stopped after a follow-up barrage of unanswered punches by Bek The Bully. Fox was hurt in every round and had nothing to keep Bektemir off. In the third, Melikuziev was cut over his left eye from a right by Fox.
After the fight, Oscar De LaHoya said he wants Bek to challenge for a world title shot at 168 next, which would be Canelo Alvarez or David Morrell Jr.
– The big punching light heavyweight Darius Fulghum (8-0, 8 KOs) destroyed Alan Campa (18-9, 12 KOs) by a first round knockout.
While on the inside, Fulghum knocked Carpa down with a left to the midsection. The time of the stoppage was at 2:58 of round one. Carpa didn’t last long enough to show whether Fulghum has got the talent to one day capture a world title.
– In junior middleweight action, Jose Luis Sanchez (14-3-1, 4KOs) outworked Eric Tudor (9-1,6 KOs), beating him by an eight round unanimous decision.
The judges scored it 77-75, 77-75 and 78-74.
Joe Smith Jr. and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez fight tonight in a catchweight WBA cruiserweight title eliminator on DAZN in the headline attraction in this Golden Boy promoted card. This is a must-win for both fighters, as they’re coming off bad losses.
As big as the 32-year-old Ramirez is, it makes sense that the fight had a 191-lb catchweight because he clearly would have weighed in at the max limit of 200 lbs and had a big advantage over Smith (28-4,22 KOs).
The main Ramirez vs.Smith Jr. card begins at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on DAZN.
Live boxing on DAZN at 8:00 pm ET
- Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs. Joe Smith Jr
Bektemir Melikuziev vs. Alantez Fox
Darius Fulghum vs. Alan Campa
Eric Tudor vs Jose Sanchez
Joe Smith Jr. believes that Gilberto Ramirez is made to order for him with the way he comes forward, looking to brawl all the time, and his Slow hand speed.
The only question for tonight’s fight is whether Smith Jr. can handle the huge power and the fast pace of Ramirez Jr. because he throws a lot of punches and is a nightmare to fight unless your name is Dmitry Bivol.
Ramirez has the size and power to wear down Smith, but we do not know if he can handle his return fire.
“We agreed to the catchweight, and you know I feel great at this weight. I’m comfortable. I didn’t have to kill myself to dehydrate or anything to make the weight, so it was good,” said Joe Smith Jr. to K.O. Artist Sports, discussing making weight for his fight tonight against Gilberto Ramirez.
“It definitely made camp easier; it made this experience easier. Just being comfortable, and I’m just ready to get in there tomorrow and put on a great show,” said Smith.
“I’m just going to get in there, give it my best, and hopefully, I come out with my hands raised. I believe I could with this fight. I believe he’s made for me, and we’ll see what happens next.
“Yeah, he’s going to be coming right for me, right to me, and it may work in my favor. So looking forward to it. Yeah, definitely, if I get
this win, I’m sure opportunities will be coming my way,” said Smith Jr. when asked if he thinks he’ll get a title shot at cruiserweight if he wins tonight against Ramirez. This is a toss-up fight.