By Jake Donovan
Broomfield, Colo. -- Unbeaten super middleweight contender Gilberto Ramirez earned his biggest win to date, scoring a unanimous decision over Maxim Vlasov in Saturday evening at 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
The bout serves in supporting capacity to the third fight between friendly rivals Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios. It didn't serve as the primer that event handlers hoped for, as action went from steady and bruising to methodical and lacking suspense, prompting boo birds to peek out on occasion.
Neither fighter wasted any punches, fighting at a phone booth's distance and throwing and landing with conviction. After falling behind early, Vlasov caught Ramirez' attention with a straight right hand in round two, his best moment of the fight to that point. Mexico's Ramirez tok the shot well, coming right back to size control of the action.
Ramirez turned things around in rounds three and four, but struggled in the fifth. Vlasov connected with uppercuts and straight right hands, and for the first time in the fight managed to outwork Ramirez, who was warned for low blows midway through the round.
The second half saw the fight stuck in one speed. It wasn't dull by any stretch, but neither fighter was really able to hurt the other, thus lacking in momentum shifts. Ramirez ate enough punches to where there was bruising and swelling under his left eye, while Vlasov had minor scuffs above his right eye.
To his credit, Vlasov went all in down the stretch, likely upon the realization that he needed a knockout win. The moment never came for the Russian boxer, which meant an eventual loss.
Scores were 97-93 (twice) and 96-94 in favor of Ramirez, who improves to 31-0 (25KOs). Vlasov suffers his first loss in four years, dropping to 30-2 (15KOs).
Both fighters appeared on HBO's flagship station for the first time in their respective careers.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox