Ramirez retains IBF title with draw against McKenzie
IBF cruiserweight champion Victor Ramirez (22-2-1, 17 KOs) retained his belt after he fought to a draw with late-replacement Ovill McKenzie (25-12-1, 13 KOs) on Friday night at the Villa La Ñata Sporting Club in Benavidez, Argentina.
McKenzie gave Ramirez all he could handle and nearly pulled off the upset, but in the end the judges scores were 114-114 and 115-113 in favour of each fighter.
The Jamaican-born Brtish-based boxer made a strong start, unleashing a series of jabs and caught Ramirez with a big overhand right in the second round.
The two-time world champion charged forward and tagged McKenzie a few times in the fourth. However, McKenzie kept jabbing and moving very well. The Argentinian continued to try to effectively get inside and landed a big straight right in the sixth.
Ramirez came on strong in the second half of the fight, landing some hard shots as McKenzie appeared to tire. But despite only having 11 days' notice, the challenger held his own in the later rounds to take it through to the scorecards.
Even though he did not get the win, getting the draw on the road in Argentina is almost as good as a win and McKenzie deserves a rematch.
Former champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez was stripped of the IBF belt when he pulled out of a title defence against interim champion Ramirez due to injuries and illnesses.
Ramirez was making his first defence after being elevated to world champion.