Following a walk over in his semi-final bout, America’s Shakur Stevenson was to face one of the brightest stars of the bantamweight division in Robeisy Ramiriz of Cuba.
2012 Flyweight gold medallist Ramirez started the bout pushing the 19-year-old and two time Golden Gloves champion Stevenson onto the back foot with a series of fast jabs. The two southpaws set an exhilarating pace throwing swift straight shots at one another, the effects of which left Stevenson fighting negative and circling his way towards centre ring, stalked his Cuban foe.
In the final minute of the opening round Ramirez used his superior experience of elite international tournaments to good effect by repeatedly forcing Stevenson towards the ropes with rapid fire combinations. Stevenson’s patience in the round cost him as Ramirez was the clear aggressor, walking the American down and keeping the pressure up on his opponent. A toe to toe exchange of punches to the body ended the round, the judges scoring the round for the Cuban who took the fight to his opponent, 10-9.
The second round began at a quicker tempo set by the Cuban, throwing a series of left handed hooks as the pair were toe to toe which sent Stevenson back towards the ropes off balance. He came back better however holding his feet as the Cuban stepped forward and scoring with a trio of uppercuts thrown at the midriff of Ramirez. A well-educated jab by the Cuban landed repeatedly on Stevenson as they began to hold the centre of the ring fighting together on the inside. A cracking back hand by Stevenson caught the oncoming Ramirez who held the American, forcing his head down before being broken up by the referee.
The pair continued to try to out manoeuvre one another, with feints and rapid movement of the feet to create angles and punching opportunities. The Cuban’s jab was put to work more often against the patience of Stevenson who found success in the final moments with another two punch salvo to the Cuban’s body. Stevenson had more success in the second round coming to grips with the lateral movement of his opponent but it still remained a relatively even contest. The judges scored it across the board for Stevenson evening up the scoring, and handing both fighters the opportunity to show their desire for the gold medal with it all to fight for in the final round.
Stevenson’s tactics of holding his feet as the Cuban darted towards him seemed to provide him opportunities at countering Ramirez, but the extremely experienced boxer from Cuba used his jab to good effect scoring better in the first half of the round. The patience style of Stevenson cost him again when the Cuban fired straight punches at him in combination causing him to retreat and touch his back to the ropes.
The American spent more time in defending from Ramirez than he spent attacking at him and failed to force back the Cuban. Ramirez’ experience once again shone through as he applied more front foot pressure onto the back pedalling Stevenson, rallying with flurries and offering a blisteringly fast combination of punches as his opponent touched the ropes. As the final bell rang the pair walked to the respective corners to await the result from the judges.
Scoring 10-9 across the board in the final round, Robeisy Ramirez becomes only the second Olympian in history to win Olympic gold in both the Flyweight and Bantamweight categories with his unanimous decision victory over USA’s Shakur Stevenson in a hotly contested final bout.
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