Joe Smith Jr vs Gilberto Ramirez Preview October 7th, 2023
Gilberto Ramirez of Mexico steps back into the ring this Saturday, October 7th when he takes on former WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Joe Smith Jr of Long Island, New York Ramirez last fought in November when he dropped a unanimous decision to Dmitrii Bivol in a shot at his WBA Super World Light Heavyweight Belt. Smith last saw action in June, 2022 when he was stopped by IBF/WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev in the second round and lost his WBO Belt. This weekend’s 12-round fight from Las Vegas can be seen live in most nations on DAZN. This will be Smith and Ramirez’s debut at the 200 lb cruiserweight division but the fight is set for a catchweight reportedly between 190 and 193 lbs.
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Smith vs Ramirez Betting Odds
- Joe Smith Jr +250
- Gilberto Ramirez -325
The 32-year-old Ramirez is a southpaw who became the first Mexican to capture a world super middleweight title when he beat Arthur Abraham via unanimous decision in 2016 for the WBO Belt. He’ll enter the ring with an impressive record of 44-1 with 30 Ko’s with his lone loss coming to Bivol the last time out. Ramirez stands close to 6-feet-3-inches tall and has a reach of 75 inches. He made his pro debut in 2009 and has 267 rounds in the bank since.
Ramirez possesses quite a bit of power in his fists as 68.2 per cent of his wins have been by stoppage, including his past five. He’s a bit of an oddity for such a tall boxer though since he doesn’t always use his height to his advantage. Ramirez often prefers to work his way inside to engage instead of fighting at a safer distance. After beating Abraham, Ramirez defended his title against Max Bursak and Jesse Hart by unanimous decisions and stopped Habib Ahmed in six rounds.
He then beat Roamer Alexis Angulo by unanimous decision and Jesse Hart by majority decision in a rematch before moving up in weight to face Tommy Karpency and stopped him after four rounds. He then stopped Alfonso Lopez for the NABF Light Heavyweight Crown and but has now decided to vacate the 175 lb division. Overall, Ramirez has stopped six of his last nine opponents after going the distance in eight out of 12 at one point.
Some of his other noteworthy wins have been against Sullivan Barrera, Derek Edwards, Fulgencio Zuniga, Junior Talipeau, and Derrick Findley. Ramirez has been successful up to now basically due to a combination of power, skill and aggressiveness but was disappointing in his loss to Bivol. He needs to tighten up defensively if he wants to win a world title again but has displayed a solid chin up to now. However, he may be more effective if he took better advantage of his height and controlled the distance in his bouts.
The 34-year-old Smith is also a former WBC International and WBO NABA Light Heavyweight Champion had four straight wins over Steve Geffrard, Maxim Vlasov, Eleider Alvarez and Jesse Hart dating back to January, 2020 before losing to Beterbiev. He won the vacant WBO World Title with a majority decision over Vlasov in April, 2021 and defended it by stopping Geffrard in the ninth round nine months later. Those victories were certainly welcomed after Smith dropped two of his previous three bouts via a 10-round unanimous decision to Sullivan Barrera in 2017 and a unanimous decision defeat to Dmitrii Bivol in 2019 in a shot at the WBA world title.
Smith of course, made a name for himself and is probably best known for stopping Bernard Hopkins in the eighth round in December, 2016 when he knocked him clean put of the ring in Hopkins’ farewell fight. However, Smith had really made fans take notice of his skills and power after stopping Andrzej Fonfara in the first round six months earlier. After all his recent action, he will climb into the ring this weekend with a mark of 28-4 with 22 Ko’s.
Smith was riding a 17-fight winning streak going before losing to Barrera with seven of his previous eight wins being by stoppage. He’s shown in the past that he sometimes has dynamite in his fists and 78.6 per cent of his wins have been by stoppage, including halting top-ranked boxers such as Alvarez, Fonfara and Hopkins. Smith stands 6-feet-tall with a 76-inch reach and has fought 146 rounds since turning pro back in 2009. He gives up 2.5-inches in height to Ramirez but has an inch edge in reach.
His first defeat came at the hands of Eddie Caminero by fourth-round TKO in 2010 in Smith’s seventh pro outing. He’s also beaten the likes of Otis Griffin, Michael Gbenga, Tyrell Hendrix, Cory Cummings, and Will Rosinsky. He appears to be a fine knockout artist who throws good combinations and possesses a great right hand. However, he’s a bit inconsistent as he’s 5-3 in his last eight outings.
Fans were disappointed in Ramirez’s performance against Bivol as the devastating puncher looked quite timid and lethargic as he didn’t let his hands go nearly enough. He was too cautious and was easily outboxed. He can’t afford to take the same approach this weekend against Smith though. Ramirez needs to stick to his strengths which are aggression and power and simply go for it. He’s got a great chin and should be able to handle Smith’s hardest shots and come out with a win.
Ramirez’s power and natural aggression should be the difference.
Play: Ramirez -325 @ BetOnline.ag
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