THERE was a redemption story of sorts tonight (March 30) in Inglewood, as former WBO super-middleweight belt-holder Gilberto Ramirez won the WBA cruiserweight belt from France’s Arsen Goulamirian.

In what was a mostly one-sided affair, Ramirez displayed surprising discipline and restraint – hardly the cornerstones of his early years – to outbox and outscore Goulamirian over the 12 rounds. This approach landed the Mexican a decision by scores of 118-110, 118-110, and 118-110. It also suggested his new career as a cruiserweight could have legs and potentially lead to bigger and better fights down the line.

Because in this form Ramirez, still only 32, remains a threat; particularly in a division lacking top-tier fighters. Indeed, the way in which he controlled Goulamirian – someone who, while no world-beater, was undefeated in 27 pro fights – suggested Ramirez is a man maturing and entering his prime rather than a man who is past it and there for the taking.

That will come as a relief, no doubt, both to Ramirez’s supporters and Ramirez himself. Ramirez, after all, has in recent times had to reinvent himself on account of Dmitry Bivol ending his light-heavyweight run in 2022 when schooling him over the 12-round distance. This, to his credit, he has now done and, following tonight’s win over Goulamirian, Ramirez, 46-1 (36), appears to again have lift off.