British and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Ovill McKenzie (25-12-1) narrowly failed to claim the IBF cruiserweight title after a split-decision draw against Argentinian champion Victor Emilio Ramirez (22-2-1), on just 11 days notice.
Joking beforehand that eleven days notice was quite long compared to other fights he’s taken in the past, McKenzie valiantly pressed the evidently bigger Ramirez from start to finish, badly shaking the newly crowned full champion in just the second round.
McKenzie tried to follow up on his success but was stifled by his savvy opponent, who made his first defence in home town Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IBF champion Ramirez came back at McKenzie in the middle rounds, but the fight was closely contested throughout the twelve, with both fighters having incremental periods of success.
In the end judges Alejandro Lopez Cid, John Poturaj and Larry Layton, levelled scores of 113-115, 114-114 and 115-113 – which by all accounts seemed fair and dispelled any criticisms of poor judging in the South American country in previous bouts.