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Robeisy Ramirez vs. Adan Gonzales tonight on ESPN

Robeisy Ramirez

By Matt Lieberman: Bluechip featherweight prospect Robeisy Ramirez will be looking to steal the spotlight away from main event fighters Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre tonight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Ramirez (3-1, 3 KOs) will be duking it out in a rematch with Adan Gonzales in a six-round fight.

The Pedraza-LesPierre card will start at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes fro the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In a surprise, Robeisy lost his pro debut to the young 23-year-old Adan Gonzales by a four-round split decision last August. The loss was more about Robeisy getting dropped on a flash knockdown in round one, and his failure to fight hard enough to make up ground. Although Robeisy clearly got the better of Gonzales in rounds 2, 3, and 4, he ended up losing the fight.

Robeisy was outworked by Gonzalez last August

Gonzales threw more punches than Robeisy, and that’s the key to winning short four-round fights. The goal is to throw as many punches as possible, and that’s often all it takes to win. Robeisy now has a new trainer in Cuban coach Ismael Salas, and he’s been working on the mistakes that he made in the Gonzales fight.

Robeisy Ramirez

Since that loss, Ramirez, 26, has won his last three fights by knockouts. He’s sitting down more on his shots and attacking a lot more than he did against Gonzales. If the southpaw Robeisy loses tonight, it won’t be because he wasn’t putting maximum power into his shots. Gonzales would be the better man in that case.

What a lot of people don’t realize is how good of a fighter Gonzales is. He’s a lot better than his 5-2-2 record would indicate. Gonzales’ two losses and two draws were from short-range fights in which he didn’t get a chance to put in the work to wear down his opponents slowly.

You can say that Gonzales learned a lot from those four fights, which is why he was attacking Robeisy and fighting tooth and nail from the opening round last August in Philadelphia.

Despite being an accomplished amateur, Robeisy isn’t getting the headliner treatment right away with his career by Top Rank the way that two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasiliy Lomachenko did.

The promotional company is starting Ramirez from the near bottom, and he’s going to need to prove that he deserves better. Tonight’s fight for Ramirez is the first step in a long journey for him to show Top Rank and his detractors that he does have the capability of making the transition over from the amateur ranks to the pros.

Ramirez lacked confidence says, coach Salas

“What I saw was an amateur fighter who was not confident in the things he had to do to win the fight,” Salas said to ESPN. “I [needed] to show him that in professional boxing, you have to sit down more on your punches.

“He has the boxing knowledge, but I wanted to change his mindset from getting points to understanding that you have to try to hurt your opponent. You can’t be passive.”

Watching Ramirez’s fight with Gonzales, you see the talented Cuban showing a lot of different looks during the match. It was incredible with the angles that Ramirez was using to throw his shots and landing some eye-catching punches. But Ramirez’s problem was, he didn’t throw enough shots, and he seemed to be in the reaction mode much of the fight.

Robeisy Ramirez

It wasn’t until the fourth round that Ramirez went on the attack and started bombing Gonzales with shots. Ramirez looked like an entirely different fighter in that round, and Gonzales was getting beaten up. The difference in talent between the two fighters was huge in the final round. It’s unfortunate for Robeisy Ramirez that he waited so long to finally stop messing around and go after Gonzalez.

Robeisy’s trainer should have impressed upon him the need that he had beat up Gonzales after he was knocked down in the first. For whatever reason, Ramirez fought in a leisurely way in rounds two and three, and that enabled Gonzales to win one of them. The fourth was all Ramirez, and Gonzalez was getting worked over. If Ramirez fights tonight the way he did in the fourth, Gonzalez won’t make it past two rounds. Gonzalez can’t take that kind of punishment without wilting or having the referee step in and halt the fight.

Salas has a lot of experience

Robeisy’s trainer Salas has been with a lot of great fighters in the pro ranks. He’s trained the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara, and Guillermo Rigondeaux, to name just a few.

Gonzales is probably going to go on the attack and try and outwork Ramirez the way he did last time they fought. It’s harder for Gonzales to do that because Ramirez is likely going to compete at a higher tempo than the previous time, and he’ll be throwing harder shots. Also, the fight is now six rounds instead of four, and that’ll give Ramirez more time to solve Gonzales ‘ riddle if he hasn’t already.

There’s no mystery about what Gonzales was doing in there against Robeisy. He was putting a lot of pressure on Ramirez and hitting him with his left hooks when he would come forward. The pressure worked for Gonzales because Ramirez often his right hand down, and he could catch him with his lefts.

Salas needs to make sure that Robeisy doesn’t slip back into his defensive style of fighting as he did in the first fight with Gonzales. It’s not going to help Robeisy if he continues to use his amateur style of fighting. He’s got to unlearn that style and learn to become more aggressive because his opponents are going to be looking to outwork him.

Robeisy Ramirez

Ramirez can’t afford another loss

If Ramirez loses tonight, he’s going to need a lot of work to come back from a second defeat. Gonzales is a good fighter, but the talented guys at 126 would riddle the short 5’4″ Gonzales to pieces. He would not be able to do the things he did to Ramirez against the elite 126-pounders. That’s why it would be a significant blow for Ramirez if he were to lose to Gonzales a second time.

The changes that Ramirez has made with his trainer and his game will likely be more than enough for him to destroy Gonzales tonight with ease. He wasn’t ready last time for the type of fight that Gonzales made it.

Robeisy has come back from his loss to Gonzales to score three straight knockout wins over these fighters:

  • Yeuri Andujar – TKO 1
  • Rafeal Morales – TKO 4
  • Fernando Ibarra De Anda – KO 6



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