Ramirez vs Ahmed Odds – ESPN and Top Rank are hooking up in Corpus Christi, Texas for a big boxing card this Saturday topped by two world title fights. Three fights are expected on the ESPN broadcast and all three are getting attention at the sports books. All the lines are over four figures, indicating that in this case Top Rank is using their dates on ESPN to showcase talent.
The WBO world champion at super middleweight is Gilberto “El Zurdo” Ramirez and he is one of the fighters being featured. At 26 years old, he is already 36-0 as a pro and this will be the third defense of his world title. In Hamed, he is facing a guy who is an unknown. He is 25-0-1, registering all of his fights prior to this one in his native Ghana. He has been in beyond ten rounds just twice in his career and many of his opponents have been well-short of top notch.
Top Rank has made no secret of the fact that they want to feature IBF world super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in the United States. Ancajas is from the Philippines where he won a world title and made and he has made three successful title defenses so far. Those defenses came in Macao, Ireland and Australia and this fight is his US debut. Promoter Bob Arum has used the words “the next Manny Pacquiao” when talking about Ancajas so you get the idea that big things are being planned for him. It would be bad matchmaking if he were to lose in his American debut.
But hoping to pull off the upset is Israel Gonzalez of Mexico. Once beaten at 21-1 he is making his debut outside of his home country and nothing on his resume jumps out at you. His lone loss came back in 2016 when he went 5-1 and that defeat came in a six round bout. He went 4-0 in 2017 so he has been active, fighting ten times in the last two years.
Ramirez and Ancajas are part of the Top Rank stable and both men are facing more serious challenges in the coming year. It will be interesting to see of Gonzalez or Ahmed can break through and play spoiler.
Below are the odds for the two world title fights. The books are also paying attention to a ten round super middleweight bout between contender Jesse Hart and veteran Thomas Awinbono. Hart (22-1) is looking to bounce back from a September of 2017 loss to “Zurdo” Ramirez in what was his first world title shot. The sports books are offering a third four figure line for Hart-Awimbono and that fight is expected to air on the ESPN broadcast along with the two world title fights. Awimbono is on a three fight winning streak but he has international experience on his resume dating back to 2009-2010. Back then he fought the likes of Martin Murray and Thomas Oosthuizen, but he lost those fights. It is not reasonable to think that the now 37 year old Awimbono will bring something new to the table.
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 – Bank of America Center – Corpus Christi, Texas – ESPN
Super Flyweight 12 rounds –
Israel Gonzalez +1000
Jerwin Ancajas -2000
Super Middleweight 12 rounds –
Habib Ahmed +1800
Gilberto Ramirez -4500
Super Middleweight 10 rounds –
Thomas Awimbono +1250
Jesse Hart -2750
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