Robeisy Ramirez enjoyed a quick turnaround to defend his title and didn't waste any time once he entered the ring.
The two-time Olympic Gold medalist retained his WBO featherweight title after a one-sided, fifth-round stoppage of Yokohama's Satoshi Shimizu. Ramirez floored the first-time title challenger before an ensuing flurry forced the stoppage at 1:08 of round five in their ESPN+ aired co-feature Tuesday from Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
The all-southpaw battle saw Ramirez immediately close the gap versus the 5'11" Shimizu. Uppercuts managed to break through the tight guard of the first-time title challenger, who later drew cheers after landing a straight left. Ramirez targeted the body early with his right hook before bringing the attack upstairs.
Momentum remained with the visiting titlist through round two. Ramirez stood at close range and fired off right hooks downstairs and straight left hands up top. Shimizu was forced to play defense after taking a left on the chin, which Ramirez later followed with left uppercuts.
Shimizu enjoyed early success in round three with a straight left from long range. Ramirez quickly adjusted and went on the attack. The uppercut continued to split Shimizu's guard, to which Ramirez followed with left hands before returning with the shot that produced his greatest success.
It would also produce the end of the fight.
A series of left uppercuts wobbled and eventually floored Shimizu early in round five. The battered challenger beat the count but was leaking blood from the nose and barely able to defend himself. Ramirez immediately followed up with a two-fisted attack before referee Ramon Pena was forced to rescue Shimizu (11-2, 10KOs) from absorbing any more punishment.
Final Compubox stats illustrated the one-sided destruction. Ramirez landed 100-of-227 total punches (44.1%), including a staggering 58.9% connect rate on 86-of-146 power punches. Shimizu was just 22-of-187 (11.8%) in total punches, and 14-of-119 (11.8%) with his power shots.
Ramirez stormed to 13-1 (8KOs) with the win, which came less than four months after he claimed the WBO featherweight title. Ramirez outpointed former WBO 122-pound titlist Isaac Dogboe via twelve-round, unanimous decision on April 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
It also came as he continues to combat discrimination from his homeland. Ramirez still proudly flies the Cuban colors to honor his roots, despite the continued and recent efforts by his nation's dictatorship. It was revealed by the boxer that Cuban officials called the embassy prior to Monday's weigh-in to insist that neither its flag or anthem was on display on fight night.
Ramirez—who defected to the U.S. prior to his pro career—continues to fight that good fight outside the ropes. In the ring, he extended his thirteen-fight win streak following a stunning split decision defeat in his August 2019 pro debut. Ramirez dropped a split decision to Adan Gonzales, whom he defeated via six-round shutout in their rematch just eleven months later.
Today, the South Florida-based southpaw serves as one of the best featherweights in the world.
On the undercard, Kanamu Sakama (8-0, 7KOs) remained perfect after an eighth-round stoppage of Tokyo's Ryu Horikawa (3-2-2, 1KO) in their junior flyweight bout.
Headlining the show, Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8KOs) puts his WBC and WBO junior featherweight titles at stake versus former three-division champ and pound-for-pound entrant Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox