The once boxing capital of the US in the 70’s when Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, “Gypsy” Joe Harris, Willie “The Worm” Monroe and Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts from Philly were in the news disappeared in that middleweight division with the exception of Bernard Hopkins. Today the Philly fighters work their way to the title shot and continue to fall short with Jesse “Hard Work” Hart no exception. His trainer Fred Jenkins Sr. kept encouraging him to do more but Hart fought the entire fight landing one punch at a time with few combinations. Ramirez took a lot of criticism from Hart going into the fight and said “I will bury him into the canvas” and almost did in rounds two and four.
Over the five year period the once likeable Hart became very “cocky” in recent years and like too many gym boxers from Philly where they called Hart a “monster” just hasn’t been there when the bell rings. In abandoning his management team of D&D Management just months prior to this title fight in Tucson, AZ, Friday over ESPN it caught up to him in a similar way it caught up to Philly’s Mike “MJ” Jones when he too abandoned Doc Nowicki who later teamed up with Dave Price only to find another Philly boxer forgetting who got him there. Obviously Top Rank had a lot to do with Hart being the No. 1 WBO contender but they also did the same for Ramirez becoming the champion.
In the first round Hart used the old stick and move style staying one step ahead of Ramriez in the round. In the second round at the mid-point of the round Ramirez landed a right hook to the chin that moved Hart and Ramirez followed by a left uppercut to the chin of Hart dropping him. Hart beat the count though on shaky legs. In the third round Hart got hit on thigh by Ramirez and got time to re-coup by referee Mike Ortega. With about 15 seconds left in the round a Ramirez right hook to the chin of Hart rocked him.
In the fourth round a minute into the round Ramirez landed a right hook to the chin of Hart getting his attention. It was a big round for Ramirez. In the fifth round Ramirez continued chasing Hart. Hart slipped from the water from his own corner near the end of the round. In the sixth and seventh rounds Ramirez continued to chase Hart. In the seventh Hart landed his best punch of the fight a right uppercut the chin. In the eighth round Hart received warnings twice. Hart landed his best punch of the fight a right uppercut to the chin.
In the ninth round Ramirez landed half a dozen punches without return from Hart. Hart rocked Ramirez when both threw punches at the same time. In the eleventh round Hart staggered Ramirez with a right to the chin knocking him back several steps but failed to follow-up blowing his chances for a knockdown. In the twelfth and final round Hart and Ramirez came out follow but it was too short of a period. Halfway through the round Hart landed a solid left to the chin of Ramirez. With half a minute to go in the fight Hart finally landed a meaningful combination. With the final 10 seconds counting down Hart landed a solid right uppercut that Ramirez countered with a right of his own.
Overall it was the champion Ramirez who wanted this fight more. Officials had it 114-113 and twice 115-112 as did this writer for the champion. Hart fought a fight like Alvarez did with Golovkin running all night and countering but not enough landing. This writer didn’t have the fourth a 10-8 round like some others did. Hart took the first round and Ramirez the next seven rounds with Hart taking the last four rounds. Too little too late for the challenger.