By Cliff Rold
31-year old former WBO Cruiserweight titlist Victor Ramirez (22-2, 17 KO) of Buenos Aires, Argentina, didn’t fight for four years between a title loss to Marco Huck in 2009 and his return in 2013. On Friday night at the Villa La Ñata Sporting Club, Benavídez, Buenos Aires, Argentina, he made it seven wins in a row with a gritty unanimous decision over 35-year old longtime contender and former title challenger Ola Afolabi (21-4-4, 10 KO) of London, England. With the win, Ramirez picks up an interim IBF title in the 200 lb. division.
The current IBF beltholder is Yoan Pablo Hernandez (29-1, 14 KO), who also holds the Ring Magazine title in the class. Hernandez, who has fought only twice since September 2012, was injured last year prior to a mandatory against Afolabi and will be obligated to face Ramirez when he returns.
Ramirez weighed in at 199 ¼ and Afolabi weighed in at 198 ¾. The referee was Pete Podgorski.
Ramirez won the fight largely by outhustling Afolabi early and then outlasting him late. The heavy fists of Ramirez kept Afolabi defensive as Ramirez came after him right from the start. As the rounds wore on, the taller Afolabi was able to box more and land effective counters. Ramirez stayed on top of him, pressing and plugging with overhand rights.
A critical point deduction in the eleventh for a low blow cost Afolabi two points, leaving him appearing to need a knockout to win. Never a big puncher, it was too much for Afolabi to overcome. Ramirez won the fight on scores 116-111 and 115-111 twice.
The card was televised in the US on TyC.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]