By James Slater: More bad news for Team USA in the Olympics. Lightweight talent Jose Ramirez of California, tipped by many to win a medal, lost moments ago to Uzbekistan southpaw Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. The final score was 15 to 11. Ramirez had scraped home in his opening bout, winning by a single point, but he was not so luck today.
Gaibnazarov got off to a great start, out-landing Ramirez and pressing the action. The opening round was scored 6-2 for the man from Uzbekistan.
Knowing he was behind, 19-year-old Ramirez upped his work-rate in the 2nd, becoming far more aggressive. Ramirez got home with his sharp right hand to the head at times but it was not enough to turn the tide. Ramirez was forcing his man back but Gaibnazarov was boxing a fine defensive fight. The second session was scored 6-3 for Gaibnazarov.
Urged on by his corner, who told him not to just walk his man down, Ramirez boxed his best round in the 3rd and final three-minutes. Looking the class act that he is, Ramirez had his rival holding at every opportunity. Gaibnazarov knew he was in front and he was spoiling, letting the clock tick away. Ramirez landed some eye-catching right hands up and down and he then attacked the body like a pro would do. Gaibnazarov was definitely feeling the pace, and at one point the stumbled to the mat (at which point Ramirez, overcome by sheer desire, let a blow go as his man was down).
The last round effort closed the gap, with Ramirez winning the final session by a 6-3 score, but it was not enough to prevent him from having to go home.
Ramirez is still only a teenager, and he may stick around and look ahead to 2016. Or, more likely considering his ring style, the exciting Californian will look to turn pro in the coming months.
21-year-old Gaibnazarov may well go on to win a medal.