By Lee Bates reporting from South America
and Alexey Sukachev
WBO cruiserweight champion Victor Ramirez of Argentina (15-1, 12 KOs) retained his title with a hard earned 12 round split decision victory over Ali Ismailov (15-2-1, 11 KOs) at the Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The bout was very competitive and fought at a brisk pace. The first seven rounds saw both fighters trading hard power shots frequently. However, the bout was slowed after that with several clinches, many initiated by Ismailov. Ismailov was given a warning by referee Mike Ortega but no points were taking away for the holding. Two judges favored Ramirez 116-112 and 115-113 and one judge had it for Ismailov 115-113. No knockdowns were scored in the bout.
Both fighters were vehemently trying to impose their wills throughout the whole contest with Ismailov being more precise and accurate with his punches in the early rounds but taking harder blows from well-conditioned Ramirez. Ismailov tired rapidly in the seventh and eighth round but dug deep to find additional resources to give local hero Ramirez all he could handle in the championship rounds. While being extremely fatigued in later rounds the Azerbaijani fighter was still able to engage his Argentinean counterpart in clinches and roughhouse battle in close which surprisingly didn’t pay him any dividends on the judges’ scorecards.
In the semi-main event #5 WBO ranked featherweight and WBO Latino featherweight champion Jonathan Victor Barros of Argentina (25-0-1, 15 KOs) defeated Carlos Ricardo Rodriguez (20-3, 11 KOs) by 5th round TKO. Barros dropped Rodriguez with a barrage of power punches in round three and inflicted more punishment to Rodriguez in round four. After the round and before the start of round 5 the bout was stopped on the advice of the ringside physician who felt Rodriguez was not an any condition to continue.