Gilberto Ramirez Retains WBO Super Middleweight Title After Winning Jesse Hart Rematch

Despite an injured left arm in the second half of his rematch against Jesse Hart, Gilberto Ramirez was able to walk away with another victory.

In the main event of a Top Rank Boxing card streamed on ESPN+ in Corpus Christi, Ramirez retained his WBO super middleweight title against Hart. Ramirez successfully defended his title with a majority decision (115-113, 115-113, 114-114).

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The first half of the fight saw Ramirez come out as the more aggressive fighter, pressuring Hart around the ring. Hart was warned a couple of times for illegal punches, but was never deducted a point. Hart found some confidence landing the uppercut and some close-range shots in the middle rounds, but his best rounds came in the second half.

Hart would start dominating the fight in the eighth round after Ramirez hurt his left elbow. Hart started landing cleaner shots from the eighth all the way to the 11th round and was on his way to at least a draw if the fight had gone the distance. However, Ramirez had a spectacular 12th round, hurting Hart with a barrage of right hooks while barely throwing the left hand throughout the round. Ramirez was able to win the final round on all three judges scorecards, which was enough to give Ramirez the victory. 

The two fighters previously fought in September 2017 with Ramirez retaining his title back then with a unanimous decision victory. Since losing to Ramirez back in 2017, Hart quickly started a three-fight win streak that got him the No. 1 spot in the WBO rankings and another opportunity at the world title. Ramirez has now made five successful title defenses throughout his championship reign with three of those defenses taking place in 2018.

Ramirez was by far the more active and accurate fighter. According to Compubox, Ramirez landed 202 of his 703 total punches (29 percent) while Hart landed 102 of his 525 punches (19 percent). Ramirez also outlanded Hart in power punches 179-87.

As for what is next for Ramirez, he stated that he wants to move up in weight and challenge for a light heavyweight world title. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who fights for ESPN as he is signed to Top Rank, is the current WBC light heavyweight champion after winning the belt earlier this month by knocking out Adonis Stevenson.

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