Ramirez retains IBF cruiserweight title on a draw with McKenzie
Victor Ramirez has only held the IBF cruiserweight title for a period of days and he came close to losing his first defense against late-replacement Ovill McKenzie, who pushed him to a split decision draw in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday.
Both fighters were awarded victory with 115-113 cards, but the deciding judge scored it 114-114. There were no knockdowns and neither man was seriously hurt during the contest.
Ramirez, rated No. 8 by THE RING at 200 pounds, was the aggressor throughout, but found it hard to pin down the Jamaica-born Brit who boxed a composed and disciplined fight against the odds.
McKenzie (25-12-1, 13 knockouts) and his team will lobby hard for a rematch and they has a very strong case. The game 35-year-old took on an Argentinian fighter, on Argentinian soil, at 11 days’ notice, and many felt he’d done enough to win.
Yoan Pablo Hernandez was stripped of the IBF belt when he pulled out of a title defense against Ramirez. The challenger was then upgraded to belt holder and McKenzie accepted terms to appear on last night’s show.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing