Super Middleweight Jesse Hart had notched 22 straight wins and had remained undefeated…until he fought Gilberto Ramirez last September.
Halfway through Round 2, southpaw Ramirez connected with a straight right to the temple; and a left uppercut took all the starch out of Hart’s legs. He slid to the floor, but got up, and survived the round.
Throughout the entire bout, Ramirez backed Hart around the ring, banging from body to head, and back. Hart had some success with his right uppercut and he remained a threat for all 12 rounds. But he was fighting while retreating and got into deep trouble in rounds 4 and 9.
The match went the distance, and going to the scorecards the three judges had it much closer than it should have been; but Ramirez was correctly awarded a unanimous decision and Hart suffered his first loss.
So when he stepped into the ring last Saturday, Hart needed to prove he is still relevant in his weight class.
His opponent, Thomas Awinbono (25-8-1, 21 KO’s), was low hanging fruit.
Awinbono stood five inches shorter and had skidded into this bout on three consecutive losses.
Hart must have been double-parked and in a big hurry, because the bout didn’t last 90 seconds.
He landed a clean uppercut that dropped Awinbono to his knees.
After the mandatory 8-count, Hart swarmed him with half a dozen unanswered punches and Awinbono went down again.
The referee saw the danger in this mismatch and called a halt to the contest.
Good call, ref.
Jesse Hart (23-1, 19 KO’s) regains ground in his division.
* * *
On the same card that night, defending his WBO belt for a third time, was Gilberto Ramirez.
Standing across the ring was Habib Ahmed…but not for long.
The opening frame was methodic as they felt each other out.
A clash of heads in Round 2 opened a cut to the outside of Ramirez’s left eye, but he continued to push the pace and dominate the action.
Ahmed got wobbled twice, at the end of the 5th, but he made it to the bell.
Ramirez literally stalked Ahmed in Round 6. He cut off the ring, walked him down, and patiently waited for an opening.
And one came.
Ramirez pressed Ahmed to the ropes and landed to the body with both hands. He split the guard with an uppercut and then launched a relentless attack to the head.
Ahmed’s corner wisely tossed in the towel.
Gilberto Ramirez remains undefeated, retains his belt, and improves his campaign to 37-0, with 25 wins coming by way of knockout.
* * *
The main event on that card featured Jerwin Ancajas (southpaw) in the fourth defense of his IBF World Super Flyweight title.
Challenger Israel Gonzalez ate a left hook early in the opener and went down like a sack of spuds.
He got up and went back at it.
Gonzalez made a good accounting of himself at the start of the 3rd, but Ancajas continually outpunched and outlanded Gonzalez, steadily chipping away…for 10 rounds.
The end came when a right hook to the body took the wind out of Gonzalez and a spearing left to the chops set him on the seat of his satins for a second time.
Again he got up and took the count.
When the ref called for them to box, Ancajas closed the distance on one big step forward, putting all his weight behind a monstrous hook to the head.
Gonzalez fell straight back, and “gone fishing” signs appeared in his eyes.
The ref didn’t waste any time with a count. He declared the bout “over” and called in the ringside medical staff.
Jerwin Ancajas extends his record to 29 victories against one loss and one draw, sporting 21 KO’s.
God Bless and keep moving forward.
Mark Felicetti would like Lady Gaga to perform during every halftime show.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.