IN a stunning upset, former amateur sensation Robeisy Ramirez shockingly lost a four-round split decision on his professional debut to the unheralded Adan Gonzales on Saturday night (August 10).

After signing pro terms with promotional giants Top Rank in May, this featherweight four-rounder at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia was expected to be a showcase for the two-time Olympic gold medallist. In the end, it turned out to be a nightmare.

The 25-year-old Cuban southpaw, so vaunted for his sublime skills, simply did not get going. Just 22 seconds into the bout, Ramirez was caught by a left hook from Gonzales, which caused him to stumble, spin and touch down on the canvas with both gloves.

After this surprise knockdown, the fans awaited a Ramirez rally in the subsequent three rounds, but aside from a few hooks and body shots, this wasn’t forthcoming.

Denver’s Gonzales, who had come into the contest with a record of four wins, two losses and two draws, applied smart pressure and was undeterred by what Ramirez had to offer. He maintained his high activity levels throughout to take a deserved victory. Two of the judges scored for the underdog by 40-35 and 39-36, while the third posted a wide-of-the-mark 38-37 card in Ramirez’s favour.

“When they announced a split decision, I knew I better have won that fight or something would’ve seriously been wrong,” Gonzales, 22, said. “I attacked him from the start and I got the win. You ain’t seen the last of me.”

Despite seeing his pro career get off to the worst possible start, Ramirez was defiant in defeat: “I feel like I won that fight. He may have been throwing more, but I was the one landing the cleaner punches. This is a setback, but trust me, I will be back.”