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Zurdo Ramirez Shrugs Off Hurt Elbow To Get Win In Hart Rematch

Michael Woods

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They danced before, in September 2017. That night, Zurdo Ramirez came away with the decision after the violent waltz with Jesse Hart.

On Friday, they did it again; a Mexican who was working construction at age 12, versus the son of Philly boxing royalty. And in Corpus Christi, Texas, and on ESPN+, Zurdo snagged another W.

He had to grit his teeth and work through severe pain, after his left elbow betrayed him. Viewers could see that in round ten, the Mexican wasn’t throwing the left much. But he soldiered on, and in fact, had Hart really woozy in a stellar twelfth round. We went to the cards, after Zurdo bumped his stock a notch higher with this show of bravura…114-114, and then 115-113, 115-113, a MD victory for the champ. His 12th round convinced those two judges who deserved it more.

Zurdo, who came from those consummate mean streets, to the point his dad slipped him a revolver in order to stay safe…and Hart, who has been on an ascent after taking the L against Zurdo, with 3 straight wins. One man simply dug deeper and came up with better work down the stretch. “I could not believe what I was watching’,” said analyst Tim Bradley.

Hart, whose dad Eugene was a solid talent at 160 on the 70s, came in 25-1 and is 29 years old. Zurdo entered 38-0, and at 27, holding the WBO 168 pound crown.

A left cross by Zurdo in round one resonated. A long Hart right uppercut landed clean but it didn’t have full power, as it was so long, in round two. “Everything sharp,” asked trainer Fred Jenkins of Hart. Hart was squaring up too much, said Bradley, the analyst, during round 4.

Hart was the mover, the slider, who tried to make himself less available against the stalking Mexican.

The Hart right uppercut in round 5 scored nicely. But his corner told him to work harder, “to steal rounds…You gotta be first,” said Jenkins before round 6.

He wasn’t often enough…Zurdo was getting angles, feinting, changing levels some, better ring generalship.

“Easy work for Zurdo,” said Tim Bradley during 7.

To 8; we saw Hart backing Zurdo up some. Was Zurdo losing steam? To 9; because both were tired, the distance between was closed and they were doing in fighting. No time or energy for moving, let’s just rumble. To the tenth round—we heard from Bernardo Osuna that the Zurdo corner said the left elbow of the Mexican was hurting him. And indeed, he didn’t use the left much. In the 11th, we saw Hart coming forward. He was bullying Zurdo backwards, and they were scrumming on the ropes. Hart was the busier man, he was in attack mode and he liked that Zurdo wasn’t as busy. Did he know that Zurdo was hurt? Don’t know. But he was taking advantage of it, even if he didn’t know why he was able to do better quality work. “He’s ready to go,” said Jenkins. “You got to finish him, don’t leave it to the judges.”

To the 12th and final round. Now Hart knew the left was hurting. But a right hook from Zurdo landed real clean. Right after right was fired, and Hart started barking that he wasn’t being hurt. But it was Zurdo who was speaking louder, with his fists. Zurdo acted like he really, REAALY wanted to keep that crown. Hart was woozy. Hart then roared back with 20 seconds to go. We went to the cards, after wishing they still fought 15.

HERE ARE MORE RESULTS, OFF A TOP RANK RELEASE:

Barboza Grinds Out Decision Win
Unbeaten super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (20-0, 7 KOs) looked the part of a top contender, using a relentless body attack to defeat Manuel Lopez (14-3-1, 7 KOs) by 10-round unanimous decision (100-90 3X).

Barboza, who picked up the NABF Jr. super lightweight belt, closed the show strong. He hurt Lopez in the ninth and 10th rounds to secure the win.

“I’m a little disappointed in myself that I couldn’t get him out of there, but I feel like I did a great job,” Barboza said. “We want the best. We want {WBC super lightweight champion} Jose Ramirez. I think that would be a great fight.”

In other action:

Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. took one step closer to a bantamweight world title shot. Greer (19-1-1, 11 KOs), a Chicago native, knocked down Daniel Lozano (15-6, 11 KOs) at the end of the seventh round, and Lozano’s corner stopped the bout after the round ended. Greer picked up the vacant WBC Continental Americas belt and is eyeing world title honors next.

“I got a great team behind me. We ended the year big,” Greer said. “This is only the beginning. Next year, we’re doing big things!”

Mikaela Mayer (9-0, 4 KOs) defended her NABF super featherweight title for the first time, cruising to an eight-round unanimous decision over Calixta Salgado (17-11-3, 12 KOs).

“She was holding a lot, which made it difficult,” Mayer said. “I had a great 2018, and I am looking forward to a world title shot in 2019.”

Top 130-pound contender Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (19-2, 10 KOs) scored a pair of knockdowns en route to a shutout eight-round unanimous decision (80-70 3X) against former junior featherweight world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos (19-6, 15 KOs). After the bout, Herring called out WBO 130-pound champion Masayuki Ito.

“That guy had some power. He has all of those knockouts for a reason, but we got the job done,” Herring said. “Ito, I’m coming!”

Gabriel Flores Jr. (11-0, 5 KOs), the 18-year-old prodigy from Stockton, Calif, knocked down Edward Kakembo twice to notch a six-round unanimous decision win (60-52 3X) in a lightweight fight.

Super bantamweight prospect Jesus Arechiga (7-0, 6 KOs) went the distance for the first time as a pro, scoring a four-round unanimous decision over David Martino (6-6, 4 KOs). All three judges scored the fight 40-36.

In a six-round bantamweight bout, Ruben Vega (11-0-1, 5 KOs) was held to a draw versus Oscar Mojica (11-5-1, 1 KO). Scores were as followed: 58-56 Mojica, 58-56 Vega, and 57-57.

Roberto Duran Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs), son of the all-time great, scored a 55-second knockout over Leonardo Pena (0-3) in a welterweight bout.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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