NEW YORK–Veteran trainer Ismael Salas was all too happy to see Robeisy Ramirez reproduce in the ring the mechanics they had been working on for countless hours in the gym.
In what many believed to be the toughest test of his career, Ramirez, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, breezed past previously undefeated Abraham Nova, stopping the latter in sensational fashion in the fifth round of their 10-round 126-pound bout at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on the undercard of the light heavyweight unification between Joe Smith Jr. and Artur Beterbiev. Ramirez threw a right hook followed by a straight left that starched Nova.
The win certainly helped diminish the impact of Ramirez’s first career loss as a professional. In his professional debut in 2019, the highly regarded Ramirez suffered a split decision defeat.
Salas, whom Ramirez turned to after the loss, noted that he has worked diligently to get Ramirez, once one of the top amateurs in the world, to get accustomed to the professional style of boxing, such as “sitting down” on punches. Like Ramirez, Salas is a Cuban national, and is regarded as one of the top trainers in the sport. Erislandy Lara, Yordenis Ugas, and Guillermo Rigondeaux are just a few of the names that are trained by the Las Vegas-based fight guru.
“He learned from the first loss,” Salas said of Ramirez in an interview with BoxingScene.com. “He came to me after that. He was with another trainer and he came to me after that. And I had to review a fighter like him with so much experience - two-time Olympic gold medalist.
“I needed to review his mental [state], and make the proper adjustments. I had to do that by making him sitting [down] on his punches, using angles.”
Salas said a commitment to refining the basics was key with the southpaw Ramirez.
“It’s a part of my mind – I call it the house of fundamentals,” Salas said. “We’re always working on very basic [things].”
In the fight against Nova (21-1, 15 KOs), Ramirez (10-1, 6 KOs) continually pressed forward against the New York-based Puerto Rican. Salas said that approach was not exactly by design.
“We never talked about him coming that way [aggressive],” Salas said. “Then when [Nova] goes aggressive, we go to the angles. We beat him by the angles.”