In a compelling bout between former Jr. Welterweight world champions, former WBC/WBO Jr. Welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez scored a workmanlike twelve round unanimous decision over former two-division world champion Jose Pedraza on Friday night at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, CA. An extremely tactical fight from the outset, Ramirez consistently pressed the action throughout, though at times, did have trouble with the defensively elusive Pedraza, who had success landing counter punches as Ramirez came forward. Ultimately, Ramirez’ effective aggression, consistent offense, and ability to control the rhythm of the fight were enough to earn a convincing unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 116-112 (On all three scorecards) for Jose Ramirez. Jose Ramirez advances to 27-1, with 17 Knockouts. Jose Pedraza falls to 29-4, with 14 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
2020 United States Heavyweight Olympic Silver Medalist Richard Torrez successfully made his professional debut by scoring a second round knockout of Allen Melson. Torrez scored a knockdown with a left uppercut in the first round, but suffered a deep gash on his forehead as a result of an accidental clash of heads. In round two, Torrez scored two more knockdowns of Melson with left hooks to force a stoppage of the bout. Official time of the stoppage was 1:23 of round two. Richard Torrez advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Allen Melson falls to 6-4, with 3 Knockouts.
In a battle of former Featherweight world title challengers, Joet Gonzalez outlasted Jeo Santisima to earn a ninth round stoppage. In what was a grueling inside fight, Gonzalez ultimately got the better of the combat and in the ninth round the bout was stopped as Santisima was taking significant punishment over the previous rounds. Official time of the stoppage was 2:05 of round nine. Joet Gonzalez advances to 25-2, with 15 Knockouts. Jeo Santisima falls to 21-4, with 18 Knockouts.
Jr. Lightweight contender Gabriel Flores pounded out a ten round majority decision over Abraham Montoya. Flores seemed to have the advantage over the first six rounds of this bout in out Boxing Montoya and keeping him at distance. As the fight moved to round seven however, Montoya seemed to have a surge on a fatigued Flores. Despite the rally in the latter rounds, Montoya was unable to earn the nod as Flores won the fight earning a decision on two of three official cards. Official scores were 95-95, (Even) and 96-94 (On two scorecards) in favor of Flores. Gabriel Flores advances to 21-1, with 7 Knockouts. Abraham Montoya falls to 20-3-1, with 14 Knockouts.
In an entertaining Lightweight bout that was fought toe to toe from the opening bell, Hector Tanajara and Miguel Contreras fought to an eight round split draw. Tanajara had some success keeping distance from the shorter Contreras early, but it was not long before Contreras bulled his way and forced the fight on the inside where the two fighters engaged nearly non-stop, but with nether being able to stand out clear from the other resulting in the draw. Official scores were: 78-74 (Tanajara), 77-75 (Contreras), and 76-76 (Even). Hector Tanajara advances to 19-1-1, with 5 Knockouts. Miguel Contreras advances to 11-1-1, with 6 Knockouts.
Also in the Lightweight division, Carlos Balderas scored a brutal second round knockout of Aelio Mesquita. Balderas dropped Mesquita in the opening seconds of the fight with a perfectly timed straight right hand. This was followed by a second knockdown in the closing seconds of the round that sent Mesquita down on his back. In round two, a short right hand sent Mesquita down for a third time and the bout was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was :38 of round two. Carlos Balderas advances to 12-1, with 11 Knockouts. Aelio Mesquita falls to 20-7-1, with 18 Knockouts.
Rising Middleweight prospect Javier Martinez scored a six round unanimous decision over Donte Stubbs. Martinez generally got the better of the action in a fight that was fought in close for the majority of the bout, but was dropped in the third round with a short right hand. After suffering the first knockdown of his career, Martinez was able to regroup to earn the unanimous decision. Official scores were: 59-56, and 58-55 (On two scorecards in favor of Martinez. Javier Martinez advances to 6-0, with 2 Knockouts. Donte Stubbs falls to 6-4, with 2 Knockouts.
In a clash of undefeated Lightweights, Charlie Sheehy scored a first round stoppage of previously unbeaten Johnny Bernal. Sheehy dropped Bernal with a right hand midway through the first round with a right hand and finished the fight with a follow-up barrage. Official time of the stoppage was 2:33 of round one. Charlie Sheehy advances to 2-0, with 2 Knockouts. Johnny Bernal falls to 2-1, with 2 Knockouts.
A battle of unbeaten Heavyweights with identical records began the evening as Antonio Mireles scored a second round knockout of previously unbeaten Brandon Hughes. Mireles scored two knockdowns of Hughes in the first round each as a reach of left hands to the head. Although Hughes tried to hang in there, he was unable to avoid the left hand and following a third knockdown in round two from a series of left hands the bout was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 1:04 of round two. Antonio Mireles advances to 3-0 with 3 Knockouts. Brandon Hughes falls to 2-1, with 2 Knockouts.
For Jose Ramirez, his victory over former Jr. Lightweight and Lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza, his first since suffering his only career loss in a unification bout last year against now Undisputed Jr. Welterweight world champion Josh Taylor last year, would seem to move him right back into title contention. This is both due to the fact that he returned to the win column as well as the likelihood of Taylor, who is coming off of a controversial split decision victory over previously unbeaten Jack Catterall, one week ago, is eying a move up from the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division to the 147lb. Welterweight division to chase a possible showdown with undefeated WBO Welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, ironically, the last man to fully unify the Jr. Welterweight division before Taylor was able to against Ramirez.
What this means for Jose Ramirez and even Jose Pedraza is if Taylor does move up in weight, four vacated world championships that currently make up the Undisputed Jr. Welterweight world championship will become available to be filled amongst former world champions and top contenders, with obviously more room to maneuver for those closer to the front of the line in terms of rankings than those who are not. Seeing as Ramirez’ fight with Pedraza was billed as an elimination bout in the World Boxing Council (WBC) Jr. Welterweight ratings, it is not hard to envision Ramirez fighting for a vacant WBC world championship in his next fight should Taylor vacate his crown. Whom that fight for Ramirez could possibly be against obviously remains to be seen and depends on what Josh Taylor decides he wants to do.
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