Gilberto Ramirez vs. Arthur Abraham this Saturday
By Jeff Aranow: This Saturday night the boxing world will get a chance to find out if #1 WBO Gilberto Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs) is for real or not when he steps foot inside the ring against a world champion for the first time in his fight against WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley on HBO pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ramirez’s promoter Bob Arum believes that the 24-year-old Ramirez is ready to dethrone Abraham and take his WBO title and become a world champion for the first time. Arum is counting on the 6’2” Mexican Ramirez becoming one of his new stars in his stable of Top Rank fighters because his main star Pacquiao is heading out of the sport in the near future, possibly after his fight against Bradley on Saturday night.
Having Ramirez step in as one of his new big names would be a big positive for the 84-year-old Arum, because he has big things in store for him if he can win this fight. Arum wants to match Ramirez up against Gennady Golovkin, and if not him, then he wants to put him in with Jesse Hart this summer.
Ramirez hasn’t been put in with good opposition as of yet in his career, and it’s very hard to deduce from the limited opponents he’s been in with how he’ll be able to do against the 36-year-old Abraham. Ramirez has looked good in his last two fights in beating Gevorg Khatchikian and Derek Edwards after his poor showing a year against Maxim Vlasov in January 2015.
Ramirez has revamped his game since the Vlasov fight, and is now using his height and reach a lot more to bomb his opponents from the outside. He hasn’t fought anyone with the ability to put pressure on him like Abraham though. Edwards and Khatchikian let Ramirez has his way without trying to close the distance to take him out of his comfort zone the way that Abraham will be doing on Saturday.
Ramirez is probably going to be forced to fight at Abraham’s distance because it’s going to be very hard for him to be able to keep the older fighter off of him. Abraham has a good chin, and has only been stopped once in his career against Robert Stieglitz in 2013. In his arguably toughest fight of his career against Carl Froch six years ago, Abraham was able to take the best shots that Froch threw without being hurt. Abraham also walked through Andre Dirrell’s best shots.
Abraham has won his last eight fights since his loss to Stieglitz in 2013. Abraham has become a lot more aggressive lately, and he no longer has a bad habit of waiting for his opponents to stop throwing punches before he lets his hands go. He now throws in between his opponent’s shots and is able to hurt them.
Arum is taking a risk in letting Ramirez fight such a tough opponent without the proper prerequisite experience. This is truly a sink or swim type of fight for Ramirez. We’re going to find out quickly on Saturday whether Arum made a wise decision in letting Ramirez fight for a world title so soon, or if he made a mistake by not having him fight contenders first before letting him take on one of the world champions.
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