Ramirez Shuts Down Khatchikian, Preserves Title Shot

By Jake Donovan

Gilberto Ramirez preserved his mandatory title shot after outpointing Netherlands' Gevorg Khatchikian over 10 rounds Friday evening at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. 

Scores were 100-90 (twice) and 99-91 in favor of Ramirez in their super middleweight bout, which headlined the latest edition of Top Rank's Metro PCS Friday Night Knockout series on truTV. 

At risk for Ramirez was a guaranteed crack at the winner of Saturday's showdown between super middleweight champ Arthur Abraham and hard-luck visiting challenger Martin Murray. The unbeaten southpaw from Mexico took a couple of rounds to truly get untracked, but was in full control once he reached that point.

Khatchikian's mission was to make the fight as ugly as possible for his heavily-favored foe, enjoying some success in that regard in the early rounds. A right hand shot managed to find its way to Ramirez' chin in round one, with Khatchikian taking advantage on occasion when his 6'2 1/2" opponent neglected to utilize his height and reach advantages.

The bout changed course in round three, with Ramirez landing to the body and cornering Khatchikian with greater regularity. He managed to avoid some of the inside shots that he was getting caught with earlier, particularly better defending against the right hand. Uppercuts and body shots began to land on his opponent, who  managed to fight back a little bit less  with each passing round.

As the night continued, it became apparent that Ramirez was looking at his third straight distance win in as many fights on 2015. The 24-year old contender was just fine with having to go that route.

"We came to win and that's what we did," Ramirez told truTV's Crystina Poncher after the bout. "All of the hard work and preparation paid off." 

It was enough to run his record to 33-0 (24KOs). 

Khatchikian loses for the second time - both coming in his lone two trips outside of Netherlands - as he falls to 23-2 (11KOs). The 27-year old visiting challenger won three straight following a knockout loss last March to James DeGale, who has since gone on to capture a super middleweight title. 

Whether or not Ramirez' performance struck fear in any of the top super middleweights - such as DeGale, or Saturday's winner between Abraham and Murray - remains to be seen. 

Ramirez has time to work on his game, perhaps even adding more muscle mass to his lean frame. Until then, he will play the role of interested observer in scouting out Saturday's intriguing super middleweight title fight in Hannover, Germany. 

"I will be watching. I'm ready for anything, anyone - I'm just ready," Ramirez insists. 

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Eastcoast on 11-21-2015

I'll wait to see how Murray looks against Abraham today before I'll say he beats Rameriz, but that's where I'm leaning. Gilberto should be fighting guys like Periban, Uzcategui, Caparello, or even Andre Ward level opponents like Murdock, Brand, and…

Comment by The Conundrum on 11-21-2015

[QUOTE=Mexican_Puppet;16249036]Easy win for Ramirez. The rival was ok, but very dirty and mediocre, he just was in a survival mode... Ramirez can defeat Abraham or Murray... :boxing:[/QUOTE] It was straightforward but he defeated him far less emphatically than DeGale did,…

Comment by The Conundrum on 11-21-2015

[QUOTE=Bram;16248913]I think he definitely needs more seasoning, especialy defensively. I think Murray is going to beat Abraham and I think Murray gives Ramirez a ton of problems. But if Abraham does win that fight, I'd probably make it. Like Grevorg,…

Comment by The Conundrum on 11-21-2015

[QUOTE=Cuban Linx;16248895]Good performance against an awkward opponent. I think he's ready for a title shot. I mean he's got 34 fights If he's not ready now then he'll never be. I think with proper training he can be ever better.[/QUOTE]…

Comment by Mick Higgs on 11-21-2015

Ramirez holds a #2 ranking with the WBA, so surely his best option is a challenge to Fedor Chuinov for now.

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