Espinoza says Ramirez 'deserves an opportunity' for rematch after their WBO featherweight thriller

PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA: Rafael Espinoza said Robeisy Ramirez "deserves an opportunity" for a rematch, after their war Saturday atop a Top Rank event north of Miami raised the roof.

"He gave me the opportunity," said Espinoza, after leaving the ring with the decision, and Ramirez's WBO featherweight world title, and so he wants to return the favor and grant the Cuban boxer the opportunity to fight a second time in what may well have been an instant classic.

Espinoza almost out-threw Ramirez by a ratio of three to one, as he launched 995 shots at his opponent and landed 222 for a 22.3% accuracy rate, compared to Ramirez's more modest output of 119 shots landed from 376 thrown.

Regardless, Ramirez enjoyed key moments in the bout including a fifth round knockdown — something Espinoza wasn't able to return until right at the end of the fight, scoring a clutch knockdown in the 12th that ultimately swung the fight in his favor.

"I just thought about winning," Espinoza said.

Ramirez, meanwhile, said: "We scored the knockdown and tried to end the fight, but it didn’t happen.

"I thought the fight was won," added Ramirez.

"But he got his second wind. I tried to catch mine. But I’ve got to give him credit. He came after me. He got the knockdown. I didn’t think it would determine the result, but that’s what the judges decided."

Xander Zayas defeated Jorge Fortea earlier in the card, and Richard Torrez left it late to knockout his eighth opponent in a row Curtis Harper, but it was Brian 'Shu Shu' Carrington who stole the undercard show for his brutal knockout win over Jason Sanchez.

The Top Rank card aired on ESPN+.