Ovill McKenzie vs. Victor Emilio Ramirez on October 2nd in Buenos Aires
By Scott Gilfoid: After toiling around for the last 12 years as a pro without much success, #14 IBF contender Ovill McKenzie (25-12, 13 KOs) will be getting a gift world title shot against newly crowned IBF cruiserweight champion Victor Ramirez (22-2, 17 KOs) in nine days from now on October 2nd at the Villa La Ñata Sporting Club, Benavídez, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
To say that the 35-year-old McKenzie doesn’t deserve a world title shot is putting it lightly. McKenzie is arguably more of a high level journeyman than an actual contender when you look at things correctly.
McKenzie has been beaten by Enzo Maccarinelli and Tony Bellew in the last five years, which kind of tells you all you need to know about McKenzie’s talent level. He’s not beaten anyone that you could call a good fighter ever.
McKenzie does have a nice little four-fight winning streak going for him since 2014, in beating Tony Conquest, Jon-Lewis Dickinson, Matty Askin and Janne Forsman. Like I said, McKenzie hasn’t beaten anyone you can call a good fighter.
Ramirez, 31, is quite lucky that the International Boxing Federation has decided to give their IBF cruiserweight title to him outside of the ring rather than forcing him to face one of the arguably much more talented contenders like Murat Gassiev, Rakhim Chakhkiev, Marco Huck or Dmitry Kudryashov. If Ramirez had to fight one of those guys instead of the lightly regarded McKenzie, I think Ramirez would be pretty much handing over his IBF title in that fight.
It would be like Ramirez just giving away his IBF title, because I couldn’t see Ramirez beating any of those fighters ever at any point in his career. It’s not that Ramirez is too old to beat those guys. It’s more of a case of him not being talented enough to beat any of them. The same of course applies to fringe contender McKenzie. I think those fighters would have him for dinner as a dessert.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity that has been put in front of me and one that I won’t get again so I will give it everything I’ve got,” said McKenzie.
The IBF stripped the previous champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez of his IBF cruiserweight title after he reportedly had been injured. Hernandez’s injuries wiped out two fights with Ramirez. They originally rescheduled their fight for October 2nd, but when Hernandez was still dealing with an injury and needed more time, the IBF stepped in and stripped him of his title rather than waiting and waiting for him to finally be healthy enough to fight.
Hernandez hadn’t fought in over a year when the IBF stripped him of his trap. Ramirez was then made the IBF cruiserweight champion without having to face one of the murderer’s row of top contenders, who would have likely made easy work of the 31-year-old Argentinian fighter.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was told that I had a world title fight against Ramirez, but that it was going to be next week, I’ve had short notice fights all my life so this is no different for me,” McKenzie said. “It makes no difference that it’s in Argentina, I will fight anywhere in the world and I’m fit and ready.”
McKenzie has good punching power going for him. In his first fight with Bellew in December 2010, McKenzie dropped Bellew twice to the canvas in the first two rounds. Bellew was able to come later in the fight and score an 8th round knockout. In their rematch in 2011, Bellew won an easy – but very boring – 12 round unanimous decision.
McKenzie would later obliterate Enzo Maccarinelli in their first fight in August 2013. It was a controversial stoppage with referee Ian John-Lewis seeming to lose his bearing and abruptly stopping the fight while Maccarinelli was covering up on the ropes and waiting his turn to start throwing punches.
“All I’ve ever wanted was a world title shot and to prove myself and against Ramirez I will put everything on the line as I believe in my heart that I can’t beat him,” McKenzie said.
Other fights on the Ramirez-McKenzie card:
Jonatan Edgardo Palacio vs. Andres Gabriel Amarilla
Francisco Emanuel Torres vs. avier Eduardo Bruer
Brian Damian Chaves vs. Jacinto Jose Gorosito
Jonathan Eduardo Gaston Chavez vs. Juan Carlos Cano
Marcelo Fabian Caceres vs. TBA
Boxing fans can watch the Ramirez vs. McKenzie fight live on BoxNation at Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com or watch online at Livesport.tv or via iPhone, iPad or Android.