By Jeff Aranow: In a grueling fight, WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs) had to battle hard to defeat previously unbeaten #1 WBO Jesse Hart (22-1, 18 KOs) by a close 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. The judges scored the fight 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 7 rounds to 5 in favor of Ramirez.
The fight was close though, as Hart came back strong in the last 6 rounds to hurt Ramirez in rounds 11 and 12 with huge right hands to the head.
Ramirez’s high-volume punching is what saved him in this fight, as he was eating a tremendous uppercut from Hart in the last 5 rounds. Some of the shots that Ramirez was hit with would have knocked out a lot of other fighters in the super middleweight division. To Ramirez’s credit, he could take the punishing blows to the head.
In the 2nd, Ramirez dropped Hart with a hard-left uppercut that he never saw coming. Hart got back up and could make it out of the round despite being hurt.
Ramirez had Hart hurt in round 4 as well, but he stayed on his feet. It was a round that you could arguably call a 10-8 round due to the punishment that Hart absorbed.
Hart used a lot of movement in rounds 5 and 6, as he wanted to keep from getting worked over by the lanky 6’2” Ramirez on the inside. That’s where Hart was having most of his problems. Each time Ramirez would walk him down, he would tag him with hard body shots and hooks to the head at close range. Hart was not able to handle that kind of fighting style in the first half of the fight.
The fight changed in the second half of the contest with Hart teeing off on a tired Ramirez, catching him repeatedly with uppercuts and hooks when he would plod forward slowly. Ramirez’s fast began to show the wear and tear of Hart’s big shots in the 11th and 12th rounds. Ramirez looked tired and he’d taken some terrible punishment from Hart.
Round 11 was Hart’s best round of the fight, as he hurt Ramirez twice with big uppercuts. Unfortunately for Hart, he didn’t realize that he had hurt Ramirez, as he didn’t go after him to try and finish him off when his legs went.
In the 12th, Hart started off fast and nailed Ramirez with repeated big shots to the head when the two of them were throwing hard leather. However, in the last 20 seconds of the round, Ramirez hurt Hart with a big left hook to the head that had him holding on. Despite being hurt, Hart came back to nail Ramirez with a few more huge shots. Ramirez finished the round with a beautiful left hook to the head that gave him the round. It was a great round.
Overall, it was an excellent fight. Ramirez made it exciting from start to finish with his Golovkin-like attacking style. If Ramirez can keep fighting like this, he could be the new star in the super middleweight division.