Gilberto Ramirez beats Maxim Bursak by unanimous decision in return from injury

Gilberto Ramirez lands a right jab to the face of Maxim Bursak during a WBO super-middleweight title fight Saturday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Gilberto Ramirez vowed to steal the show. He was missing only a willing participant.

Coming off a yearlong layoff because of an injured hand, Ramirez ran into hard-chinned, hold-happy Ukrainian Maxim Bursak and had to settle for a unanimous-decision victory by 120-106 on all three scorecards at StubHub Center on Saturday night.

Bursak (33-5-1) couldn’t wrest the World Boxing Organization super-middleweight belt from Ramirez (35-0) in the Mexican fighter’s first title defense, so he was reduced to holding to slow the attacks from the 25-year-old from Mazatlan.


Bursak twice had a point taken away from him by referee Thomas Taylor for holding Ramirez’s arm, and despite a few clean counter-punches to Ramirez’s face, he couldn’t match the champion’s activity or talent.

“I did what I have to do,” Ramirez said.

That’s true. He won. But at a venue that has staged several classic toe-to-toe battles, the lethargy in this bout hurt Ramirez’s reputation and his call to fight unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin next.

Instead, his top contender, Philadelphia’s Jesse Hart, appeared at ringside to watch the bout and called out Ramirez.

“No one can take away my shot now,” Hart said. “It’s got to happen now. We’re both in our prime. Jesse Hart wants Gilberto Ramirez now.”