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Jose Ramirez Is The New WBC Super-Lightweight Champion

Ramirez Wins By Unanimous Decision Over Amir Imam

By

By Aaron Cooper

Forget the rivalry between Don King and Bob Arum which provided a subtle backdrop for this fight. Forget that this was the WBC’s 2000th title fight.

Jose Ramirez put on the performance of his life to claim the vacant WBC Super-Lightweight title. Beating Amir Imam in his own backyard. The judges scored the fight 115-113, 117-111 and a very wide 120-108. I had Ramirez winning the fight nine rounds to three. The fact that one judge did not award Imam a single round highlights the not so subtle frailties in the judging of world title fights. Harsh is not the word and it did not reflect the fantastic fight that millions around the world witnessed

I was impressed with Imam in the first round. He won the battle of the jab and looked very slick and sharp in the opening stanza. Ramirez had a lot of trouble trying to get on the inside. In the second round, it proved to be a better start to the round from Ramirez, putting on pressure and doing some nice work to the body. I was really impressed with how Imam controlled the distance with his jab. Ramirez was aggressive but didn’t really land any clean work. By the fourth round the jab less effective from Imam. Ramirez began to start landing the overhand right a bit more, ending the round most certainly on the front foot. The pressure of Ramirez's work was starting to tell in the fifth and looking for the overhand right. He didn’t give Imam any chance to be able to think about his work. In the sixth an overhand right had Imam hurt, forcing him onto his back foot for most of the round. Imam's tendency to throw a jab from the hip left him open to a counter right every time. The seventh was a harder round to score. Imam came back with good jabs and bodywork, but Ramirez ended the round catching Imam. Ramirez was perhaps guilty of staying in the pocket too long. In the ninth, both men elected to fight on the inside, although Ramirez changed the pace of his shots. Both men landed some heavy artillery but for me, Ramirez edged the round by being busier. By the tenth, it was clear Imam needed to do something different, but Ramirez's relentless aggression gave Imam little time to think. Ramirez hurt his man at the end of the round causing him to hold. They say if you hurt the body the head will die. By the eleventh Ramirez’s constant bodywork had slowed down the head movement of Imam. Allowing Ramirez to punish Imam with the left hook over and over again, causing Imam's right eye to swell badly. The final stanza saw Ramirez come out firing with everything in his arsenal, breaking the spirit of his opponent. Imam looked to try to survive the round rather than win the fight. Trainer Freddie Roach said in the pre-fight build up that Imam cannot fight backwards and that proved to be the case.

With Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker left to contest for the WBO Super Lightweight Title next month. The division’s championship picture is beginning to take shape.

One thing is for certain. It will take a huge effort to take Ramirez’ new won title away from him. A fight with Interim Champion, Regis Prograis is more than likely next. From what I have witnessed over the last two weekends action, that has all the hallmarks of a war.

Congratulations Jose!!