Ola Afolabi vs. Victor Emilio Ramirez for interim IBF cruiserweight title
By Jim Dower: Former WBO cruiserweight champion Victor Emilio Ramirez (21-2, 17 KOs) will be facing former three time world title challenger Ola Afolabi (21-3-4, 10 KOs) for the interim cruiserweight title at a still to be determined date and venue.
Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that the winner of the Ramirez-Afolabi fight will then have to face IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez for his IBF title.
Hernandez is currently healing from an elbow injury, and he’s got until August 6th to heal up and take the fight against Ramirez or Afolabi. If he’s still not healed by August 6th then he’ll have his IBF title stripped from him by the IBF.
Originally, Afolabi was supposed to fight Hernandez last December, but then Hernandez suffered an elbow injury, and that wiped out the fight.
Ramirez, 30, previously held the World Boxing Organization cruiserweight title from February 2009 to August 2009, at which point he was beaten by Marco Huck of Germany. Huck has had the WBO title ever since for the past five years. Before losing to Huck, Ramirez defended his WBO title once in beating Ali Ismailov by a 12 round split decision in May of 2009. Ramirez also had a big knockout win over Alexander Alekseev in January 2009.
After Ramirez’s loss to Huck in 2009, he stayed out of the ring for four years before coming back in December 2013 in defeating Thabiso Mogale. Ramirez has since beaten six lower level opponents to get himself in position to face the 34-year-old Afolabi. Ramirez is currently ranked at #4 IBF behind #3 IBF Afolabi, even though Ramirez has fought really poor opposition. The IBF has been very kind to him with their rankings.
Afolabi has won his last two fights since losing to Huck by a 12 round majority decision in June of 2013. Afolabi fought only once in 2014, beating Anthony Caputo Smith by a 3rd round stoppage.