Jesse Hart rallied from behind after getting knocked down with a clean right hand in the second round, but Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez held strong.
In a rough and fun fight, Ramirez defended his WBO super middleweight world title with a unanimous decision victory on Friday night before 4,103 at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona. The bout was the co-main event of the Top Rank ESPN card headlined by featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez against Genesis Servania.
Two judges scored the fight 115-112 and the third had it 114-113 for Ramirez. FightNights.com scored the bout 115-112 for Ramirez.
“This one was for all the Dreamers, all the people of Mexico, and what they are going through with the earthquake,” Ramirez said.
Top Rank and Valdez donated tickets to Dreamers in Arizona to attend the card.
“The plan was push, push, push, and put a lot of pressure on him and keep him off balance. I wanted to put on a really big body attack every round,” Ramirez added.
Hart outboxed Ramirez in the opening round, but in the second round, things changed drastically.
Ramirez (36-0, 24 KO’s), 26, of Sinaloa, Mexico, dropped Hart with a clean right hand and teed off on him for the rest of the round.
It was more of the same in the third round, but not before Ramirez connected on a low blow. Referee Mike Ortega warned the champion and gave Hart sufficient time to recover, but he was still taking a lot of punishment, particularly to the body where he had trouble defending for most of the fight.
Ramirez seemed to slow down, though, and Hart was able to find success with hard uppercuts on the inside, and clean right hands, one of which knocked Ramirez back into the ropes.
But it was too little, too late.
Hart (22-1, 18 KO's), 28, of Philadelphia, knew he needed a knockout to win the fight and despite an impressive rally, was staggered late, but both fighters finished strong.