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Chavez picks Gilberto Ramirez to defeat Arthur Abraham

Arthur AbrahamBy Dan Ambrose: Mexican boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez is picking unbeaten #1 WBO Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (31-0, 24 KOs) to defeat WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) in their fight on April 9 on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Abraham-Ramirez fight is the co-feature bout on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley 3 card. Abraham, 36, is the favorite in the fight despite giving away five inches in height and three inches in height to the 24-year-old Ramirez.

Abraham is the better puncher, and he’s by far the more experienced of the two. Ramirez is coming into the April 9 fight without any experience against top tier opposition apart from his close win over fringe contender Max Vlasov last year in 2015.

Vlasov staggered Ramirez on two separate occasions in that fight.

“I have a lot of faith in you,” said Chavez to Ramirez via ESPNDeportes show “A Los Golpes”. “I believe you will win the fight but you have to take advantage of your height and your youth. You facing a great champion but I know you will give it your best and you will give Mexico another world champion.”

Chavez is wise to tell Ramirez to take advantage of his height and youth to beat Abraham. Ramirez spends too much time trying to fight on the inside, and it doesn’t work out well for him because he gets hit too much. Ramirez is a good body puncher, but he gets nailed when he tries to fight on the inside. If he fights like that against Abraham, he could wind up getting knocked out.

This is a big step up for the young Ramirez, and he might not be ready for this kind of a test. It would have been far better for Ramirez’s promoters at Top Rank to have brought him a long slowly by building him against steadily better fighters and eventually against top contenders. The way that Top Rank are doing it, they’re having Ramirez go from poor 2nd tier fighters straight into a world title fight without any kind of grooming for that step up. I think this is going to end badly for Ramirez.

While Abraham is clearly not the best fighter in the 168lb division, he’s still at least a top six or top seven guy. He’s top 10 for sure. Ramirez is a top 10 talent, but he’s still very flawed. He’s now fast, he’s easy to hit, and he tries to fight on the inside too much. Ramirez reminds me of a flawed version of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

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