LAS VEGAS -- Super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez has designs on being another in the long list of star champions from Mexico and looked like he might be on his way with an impressive fifth-round destruction of former world title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo on Friday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Headling ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," Ramirez dominated, mainly using an unrelenting body attack. The 22-year-old southpaw was very aggressive, as expected. He attacked Lorenzo from the outset and ripped him with body shots, which he continued to do throughout the fight, scoring three knockdowns.
"It was very important to win and do it spectacularly on the eve of (Manny) Pacquiao-(Timothy) Bradley," Ramirez said through a translator. "We studied tapes of our opponent and that's when we decided to go after him strictly with a body attack."
Ramirez came close to ending the fight in the third round as he brutalized Lorenzo with a sustained body attack. He trapped him in a corner and unloaded with numerous shots that doubled him over. Finally, a left hook to the body knocked him down to a knee. Lorenzo survived the round but was taking a pounding, although he got a brief respite when Ramirez (28-0, 22 KOs) was warned for a low blow by referee Jay Nady.
Lorenzo (32-7, 24 KOs) was taking punishment in the fifth round when Ramirez landed yet another hard body shot to score the second knockdown of the fight. Moments later a dazed Lorenzo caught a straight left hand to the head and touched his glove down for another knockdown. His corner then threw in the towel, and Nady waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
It was the second very impressive performance in a row for Ramirez in the United States. He fought in the U.S. for the first time in February and became the first fighter to knock out Don Mouton, stopping him in the first round.
Although it was Mouton's eighth defeat, he is known for having a great chin and extending prospects, but Ramirez wiped him out.
If the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Gennady Golovkin fight is finalized for July 19 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Ramirez will appear on the undercard, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.
Lorenzo, 33, a New York-based native of the Dominican Republic, had fought in three world title bouts. In 2009, he lost a split decision to Sebastian Sylvester for a vacant middleweight world title in Germany. He returned to Germany in 2010 and lost a decision to titleholder Felix Sturm. And in 2011, he lost a decision to Hassan N'Dam in an interim title bout in France.
Hart outpoints Clarkson
Philadelphia super middleweight prospect Jesse Hart (13-0, 10 KOs) scored two knockdowns and rolled to a shutout eight-round decision against southpaw Samuel Clarkson (10-3, 6 KOs) of Cedar Hill, Texas, in the co-feature.
All three judges scored the fight 80-70 for the 24-year-old Hart, who was a standout amateur and is the son of former 1970s middleweight contender Eugene "Cyclone" Hart, who works as his trainer.
Hart was fighting on national television for the first time.
"I felt like I did good," he said. "I wasn't nervous about it. I think I'm ready for the mainstream."
Clarkson, 23, drew the ire of referee Vic Drakulich in the third round when he lifted Hart off the canvas during a clinch and later for hitting Hart on a break. It had been a foul-filled round and Drakulich called both to the center of the ring to tell them to knock it off just before the round ended.
In the fourth round, Hart scored a pair of knockdowns and had Clarkson, whose right eye was swelling, in major trouble. Hart dropped him with a right uppercut at the end of a flurry of punches and floored him again moments later with a right-left combination.
"After the knockdowns my dad said we gonna box smart and not rush in take any gambles because the guy still had knockout power, even though I didn't feel it," he said. "But his record shows he has some power."
Clarkson managed to stay on his feet the rest of the way, but Hart was in total control, although it was a somewhat sloppy fight.
Cyclone Hart was pleased with the performance overall, but said, "I know we got to add onto what we got to make him better. I see a lot of mistakes made. But we were knocking everybody out, so I'm glad we went the distance."