By Keith Idec
Gilberto Ramirez managed to avoid Alexis Angulo’s dangerous right hand and out-boxed him Saturday night.
The unbeaten WBO super middleweight champion was busier, mostly fought smart and won their 12-round bout by unanimous decision. Judges Javier Alvarez (119-109), Levi Martinez (120-108) and David Sutherland (119-109) scored their fight for Ramirez by huge margins, but he had to remain mindful of the strong Colombian contender’s power right until the final bell.
ESPN televised Ramirez-Angulo as the main event of an eight-bout card from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The 34-year-old Angulo entered this fight undefeated and had knocked out 20 of his 23 opponents. He padded that record, though, largely against journeymen or worse.
He still earned the WBO’s No. 8 ranking among its 168-pound contenders. Before Saturday night, Angulo had never boxed beyond the eighth round.
Angulo appeared to hurt Ramirez in the third and seventh rounds. Overall, however, Angulo wasn’t active enough to win rounds against the taller, more skillful champion.
The 27-year-old Ramirez (38-0, 25 KOs) defeated an unbeaten but unknown opponent in a second straight fight. The southpaw had an even easier time on his way to stopping Habib Ahmed (25-1-1, 17 KOs) in the sixth round February 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
An aggressive Angulo tried his best to land a fighting-changing punch during the 12th round, but he couldn’t do it. He bullied Ramirez and trapped him in a corner in the final minute of the 12th round, yet couldn’t connect with the right hand that had affected Ramirez earlier in their fight.
Both boxers slipped and nearly fell from all the moisture on a Top Rank/ESPN logo in the center of the ring in the 10th round.
Ramirez was the busier fighter in the ninth round. He landed an effective right uppercut and several body shots during that round.
Angulo landed two left uppercuts with just under a minute to go in the eighth round, but Ramirez kept coming forward.
Angulo staggered Ramirez with a left hook to the side of his head a little before the halfway point of the seventh round. Ramirez recovered relatively quickly and managed to keep his distance for the rest of the round.
Ramirez created some distance in the sixth round, which helped him work off his jab and land a few straight left hands.
Angulo connected with a flush right to Ramirez’s chin just before the midway mark of the fifth round. Later in the fifth, Ramirez knocked Angulo off balance with a left hand.
Angulo slipped and fell to his knees about 30 seconds into the third round. He hurt Ramirez with a hard, straight later in the third, when Ramirez tried to throw a left uppercut.
Ramirez moved away from Angulo once that shot landed, yet he appeared to regain his senses quickly.
Ramirez tried to get to Angulo’s body during the second round. He also defended himself well when Angulo tried to land his right hand.
Angulo attempted to rough up Ramirez against the ropes when there was about a minute left in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.