Gilberto Ramirez stepped up in class tonight against Russian Maxim Vlasov and scored a unanimous decision victory. The score cards came in 96-94 with the other two judges scoring it 97-93. Compubox found Ramirez with a 179-115 edge for the rangy Mexican.
Praised as an up and coming Super Middleweight contender (#2 WBC/WBO, #3 WBA/IBF), southpaw Gilberto Ramirez entered the ring with a sparkling 30-0 record with 24 KOs. The charismatic Mexican fighter had won his previous four fights by KO over solid opposition, including Fulgencio Zuniga last November and Junior Talipeau in July. Still, the consensus top 10 ranked contender, Maxim Vlasov (30-1, 15 KOs), promised to be his strongest opponent yet.
Vlasov was riding high on an 11 fight winning streak since suffering his only loss to Isaac Chilemba by unanimous decision in February of 2011. Three of his last four wins were by KO, with his most recent victory ending by 7th round stoppage against Ruben Eduardo Acosta.
Fighting at a catch weight of 171, both fighters were stepping up in class and were hoping to position themselves for a near future title shot.
Onto the rounds:
Round One: Cagey first round early on. More movement than punches, although they are throwing some. Decent combo by Vlasov inside the final minute. Good right jab by Ramirez. The very definition of a feeling out round. Close round, but Ramirez out landed Vlasov 12-4.
Round Two: Vlasov starts out quickly. Lands a solid left hook. Ramirez picks up the pace in response. Starting to look for Vlasov’s body some. Nice jab by Ramirez at the mid-point. Ramirez lands a nice body blow. Excellent straight right by Vlasov snaps Ramirez’s head back. Ramirez begins to work his jab. Vlasov lands another straight right to end the round. Close again, but this time Vlasov appears to have the edge.
Round Three: Fast start by both fighters in the third. Letting their hands go from the start. Vlasov bullies Ramirez on the ropes. Nothing hard landed, but Vlasov is trying to force his will on the Mexican fighter. Ramirez may have stung Vlasov to the body. Ramirez very committed to Vlasov’s torso. Ramirez seems to have stolen the starch from Vlasov with the body shots. Clear round for Ramirez. Ramirez lands 25 power shots to 7.
Round Four: Vlasov approaching Ramirez with more caution now. The body blows are making a difference. Ramirez starting to do work. Vlasov does land a nice uppercut and a decent body blow. Ramirez’s punches seem to have more effect though. Good uppercut by Ramirez. Letting his hands go right after. Solid right at the end of the round by Vlasov. Still looks like a Ramirez round, but closer than round three.
Round Five: Strong blow on the belt line by Ramirez. Referee, Curtis Thrasher (great name), calls it low. Vlasov is tough, but can’t move Ramirez with his punches. Ramirez just keeps landing to the body at will. A straight right from Vlasov draws blood from the nose of Ramirez. Ramirez goes to his nose multiple times after. Vlasov showing signs of fatigue as he goes to his corner. Vlasov outlands Ramirez 18-14. Perhaps his best round.
Round Six: Vlasov lands a counter right and his straight right leads find a home regularly. Ramirez’s left is just working Vlasov’s right side. Pace slows in this round. Some boos from the crowd. Vlasov lands a sharp two punch combo at the end of the round. The fight is starting to tighten. It’s not impossible that the judges could have this fight even after 6. Harold Lederman has it 5-1 Ramirez.
Round Seven: Solid straight right by Ramirez midway through the round. Nothing big landing either way, but Ramirez is more active by far. Excellent left cross by Ramirez. A good round for the Mexican contender.
Round Eight: Ramirez continues to dig to the body. Vlasov goes head hunting and a good left hook lands. Every clean body shot by Ramirez seems to pause Vlasov. Jim Lampley reports that Vlasov’s corner is saying the Colorado altitude is affecting their fighter. Vlasov lands two more straight rights, but just isn’t active enough overall.
Round Nine: Nice up jab by Vlasov to start the 9th. Ramirez picks up the pace in response–once again, to the body. Good left by Ramirez. Vlasov has never been hurt upstairs despite taking a number of shots. Ramirez is starting to swell considerably under his left eye. The product of the Russian’s straight right leads. Ramirez backs up and then comes forward with more body work. Crowd boos some more. Both fighters looking a little gassed, but you would rather be Ramirez right now than Vlasov.
Round Ten: Hard right jab by Ramirez at the outset. Right cross by Vlasov and more body work from Ramirez. While Ramirez has out thrown and out landed Vlasov throughout, this is the kind of fight where the scorecards could be…interesting. The straight rights by Vlasov could be easier to see for the judges than the body work by Ramirez. Vlasov lands four solid punches in a row. Both fighters go to their corners gasping. Mile high air, baby. Lederman scores it 97-93. Which seems pretty fair.
Ramirez’s handlers may have been hoping for a big coming out party for their fighter tonight. If so, they did not get it. Ramirez outworked Vlasov, but showed a number of defensive deficiencies. He was particularly susceptible to straight right hands. While Ramirez’s commitment to working the body was admirable, bordering on slavish, the more limited in talent Russian gave Ramirez issues, as his considerably swollen left eye would attest.
Mid fight there was a mini-feature showcasing Ramirez in a pre-fight interview with Lampley and Andre Ward. Ramirez implied an interest in fighting Ward. If his team has any sense, they won’t be in a hurry to make that fight. Their man is clearly not ready for that.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank
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