Ghana’s Habib Ahmed missed out on winning the WBO Super middleweight title following a sixth-round knockout defeat to defending champion Gilberto Ramirez at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Ahmed, 27, making his United States debut, failed to impress as he was thoroughly beaten by the Mexican, who retained his belt for the third time.
It was a spirited fight, but Ramirez, with a longer reach and better skills, was in control for the entire bout. At the time of the knockout, he was ahead 50-45 on all three scorecards.
Ahmed (26-1-17 KO) had an awkward style, and it led to an accidental head butt that opened a cut over Ramirez’s left eye in the third round. But Ramirez was undeterred. He continued to go at Ahmed with combinations and rattled him with a combination later in the third round.
As Ramirez came forward firing punches, Ahmed did his best to hang with him. He landed a few decent shots but was constantly on the move trying to escape Ramirez’s pressure, so even when he landed he did not have much leverage on the punches.
Ramirez (37-0, 25 KO) chased Ahmed all over the place and cornered him in the fifth round before landing heavy head shots, especially with his left hand, that had the crowd cheering.
He continued to land big shots in the sixth round, and Ahmed looked to be wearing down. A big right hand rocked Ahmed badly with a minute to go in the sixth round. Ahmed tried to escape, but Ramirez chased him down again. He hurt him to the body and head and was pouring it on when referee Laurence Cole stepped in and stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 31 seconds.
“Zurdo was the better man in the ring tonight,” Ahmed said. “I tried, but he was all over me. His experience in big fights was too much for me to handle.”
Ramirez’s domination was evident in the CompuBox punch statistics. He landed 123 of 406 shots (30 percent), and Ahmed landed only 22 of 190 (12 percent). Ramirez landed at least 14 punches in every round and 40 body shots overall.
Ahmed never landed double-digit punches in any round. In the fourth round, he landed only one punch.