Aussie heartache abroad continues with Ramadan and Zerafa losses

AUSTRALIA’s horror run in title fights abroad continued as Susie Ramadan and Michael Zerafa dropped controversial decisions in Mexico and Russia last weekend.

Ramadan, 35, had not fought in just over two years, but took the unenviable task of travelling to Mexico to face a hometown favourite in Yazmin Rivas, 26, who had previously handed Ramadan her lone blemish as a professional.

A fight on paper doesn’t necessarily tell the story of the fight, which was the case with their tightly contested rematch. The scorecards were a laughable 98-92 twice as well as a final 97-93 card. As the below video will confirm, Ramadan gave Rivas all she could handle.

In many ways, the Mexican fans are the most partizan and brutal in this business. However, their admiration and mutual respect for Ramadan post-fight tells the story of a fighter who was yet again given the short end of the stick.

As she does in almost all of her fights, Ramadan played to her strengths – being a darting left jab – and the ability to crisply move across the ring. While she certainly did not land the more telling blows, you could easily argue that Ramadan (23-2, 8 KOs) dictated the pace at which the fight was fought, as well as out-landed Rivas (31-8, 9 KOs) in the majority of the exchanges.

To the credit of Rivas, she did end the fight strong, backing Ramadan up against the ropes multiple times, although she was unable to clearly stun or hurt the Australian.

By going toe-to-toe with Rivas, one of the more credible women’s titleholders at the moment, and more than handling her own on several occasions, Ramadan has once again shown that she is as well-rounded as any contender or champion for that matter.

Make no mistake, she will be back. But for the sake of her career and continued improvement, let’s hope it is sooner rather than later.


PREVIOUSLY unbeaten middleweight prospect Michael Zerafa lost his coveted zero, when he was outpointed by undefeated and world-rated Russian Arif Magomedov in a battle of wills in Moscow.

Given the number of disadvantages Zerafa had to face, such as going to Russia in the middle of winter with only a week to acclimatise – not to mention all Russian judges – it was easy to see why the Australian was up against it.

Zerafa, 22, surprised many, including the Russian audience by going into a firefight with Magomedov, often catching the forward-walking Russian with several left-hand counters. To his credit, Zerafa fought the majority of the fight with a heavy cut under his right eyebrow.

There was much to love about their exciting ten-round tussle, most notably the fact that Zerafa (now 15-1, 7 KOs) tested himself against a world-rated fighter on foreign soil and was unlucky in many people’s eyes to not get the nod.

Both fighters were clearly amped for their title fight with implications as both were excited for a fight that ended up being the most evenly matched on a somewhat stacked card by Russian standards.

With that said, there was also quite a bit not to love. The three judges scorecards left a lot to be desired, offering laughable scorecards of 100-91 twice and an equally forgettable 91-99.

Despite the loss to Magomedov (now 13-0, 7 KOs), Zerafa’s stock has certainly risen. Given the lack of real notable names on his resume, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Zerafa’s abilities and in many ways he didn’t disappoint.

While no official announcement has been made, it appears likely that Zerafa will challenge for the IBO Youth title next, with Zerafa’s camp making enquiries about a possible title challenge.



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