Tonight’s Live Boxing Results: Ramirez vs. Smith Jr

By Boxing News - 10/07/2023 - Comments

By Mark Eisner: Gilberto ‘Zurdo’Ramirez (45-1, 30 KOs) labored his way a 10 round unanimous decision over Joe Smith Jr. (28-5,22 KOs) in a WBA cruiserweight title eliminator on Saturday night at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The judges scored it 99-91, 99-91 and 99-91. You can argue that Zurdo won 7-3 or 6-4. He looked very slow regarding hand speed, but he took advantage of the lack of size and the one-dimensional offense of former WBO light heavyweight champion Smith Jr.

YouTube video

The one change in Gilberto’s style from his previous fight against Dmitry Bivol was the movement. Ramirez, 32, used a lot of movement to keep the bigger puncher, Smith, from getting to him.

Smith clearly fought well enough to win rounds 1, 7, 8 & 9. When Smith fought hard, he dominated Ramirez, but he looked like he lacked the self-confidence to attack how he needed to win.

Boxing News 24 will give live updates & results of the card below tonight.

  • Super middleweight contender Bektemir ‘The Bully’ Melikuziev (13-1,10 KOs) stopped journeyman Alantez Fox (28-5-1,13 KOs) in the fourth round in the tenth round chief support bout. Bektemir dropped the 6’4″ Fox with a left to the body in the fourth. After the action resumed, Bek trapped Fox against the ropes and hammered him with shots, causing the referee to step in and stop the fight. Fox was unhappy about the stoppage, shoving the referee. After the fight, Golden BoyPromotions CEO Oscar DeLa Hoya said he wants Bektemir to challenge for a world title next, meaning he wants undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo  Alvarez to fight him. That’s probably not going to happen. For Bektemir to get a title shot, he’s undoubtedly going to need to work his way into a mandatory spot, which could take years. The best bet would be for De La Hoya to target WBA secondary 168-lb champion David Morrell Jr., but that’s a dangerous fight for Bektemir. Morrell has power, rsize & boxing skills.
  • Light heavyweight prospect Darius Fulghum (8-0, 8 KOs) scored a highlight reel bodyshot first round knockout of journeyman Alan Campa (18-9, 12 KOs) in a scheduled eight round fight. The 27-year-old Fulghum connected with two body shots of Campa in close, sending him down face-first on the canvas in pain. The contest was then halted as  Campa was too hurt to get up. The time of the stoppage was at 2:58 of round one. It’s hard today how good the two-year pro Fulghum is because his opposition has been too poor to tell us anything. He didn’t have a great amateur career, with a record of 30-11 before turning in in 2021. It would be nice to see Fulghum fight someone like Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev to test him.
  • In junior middleweight action, Jose Luis Sanchez (14-3-1, 4KOs) defeated previously unbeaten Eric Tudor (9-1,6 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision. The scores were 77-75, 77-75 and 78-74. Sanchez outworked Tudor, landing the better shots and swelling up his eyes. Whatever chance Tudor had of winning, he ruined it by staying on the move most of the fight.

It’s a make-or-break fight for Zurdo and Smith Jr, especially for the Golden Boy-promoted Ramirez. He’s been well-managed during his 14-year professional career, put in with soft opposition, matched in a similar way as Jaime Munguia.

Tonight’s Ramirez-Smith Jr. card

Bektemir Melikuziev vs. Alantez Fox-co-feature bout
Darius Fulghum vs. Alan Campa
Eric Tudor vs. Jose Luis Sanchez
Tristan Kalkreuth vs. Aaron Casper
Daniel Luna vs. Erick Benitez
Jahyae Brown vs. Victor Toney

When Golden Boy finally threw Zurdo into the deep end of the pool last November against Bivol, he floundered & sunk to the bottom and showed that he lacked the talent to compete at the highest level.

Ramirez looked horrible in his last fight, losing to Dmitry Bivol by a one-sided twelve round decision last November.

The performance by Ramirez was so bad that it was hard to see any type of future for him at 175 or cruiserweight, as he’s too slow, and the fighting style that he had depended on in the past, leading with his face, won’t work for him in either division.

This is a fight that Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs) cannot afford to lose because, unlike Smith, who has massive power and will continue to do well, Zurdo depends on his high punch output & massive size to win.

That’s not going to get the job done at cruiserweight, however, because they punch hard and they have equal size as Zurdo.

Is this the end for Gilberto Ramirez?

“I had a lot of input in it. I was asked about whether that’d be a good fight for Zurdo, based on my experience, and I said it would be not only a good fight, but it would be a dangerous fight,” said Golden Boy promoter Bernard Hopkins to Fight Hub TV about the decision to match Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez against former WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr.

“It will show whether Zurdo is really serious about his career and going forward in this second chapter of his career. We know the first chapter, he went 30-0, undefeated, and he tasted defeat[against Dmitry Bivol].

“So now just reboot, take a deep breath, and now he’s coming back after doing these things to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to come back  stronger, smarter, more experienced, and I’m coming back as a cruiserweight at 190.’

“We’re giving him that chance, but we’re not giving him that chance to fight a stiff, or let’s dig him up from the graveyard and hopefully blow oxygen into some dead man and bring him in and say, ‘Okay, show us what you got.’

“Do you know how you show a person what you got? You put in there with somebody that can be a threat to them. That’s how show what you are really packing. So, let’s take it back a step. We didn’t throw a towel in on him. As long as he didn’t throw the towel on himself, this is, to me, a make-or-break-your-career type of fight.

“It could be over for him [Ramirez], or it could be the beginning. So there’s a lot on the line. His career is more on the line than Joe Smith.

“No, I don’t believe in wishes. I believe in go get it,” said Bernard when asked if he wished Gilberto Ramirez had fought Smith Jr. earlier in his career. Joe Smith is fighting a fighter that we are promoting, and I’m part of the promotion and promoting him,” said Hopkins,