Title fights and other interesting boxing tidbits
By Bill Tibbs
-Sunday afternoon action from the SaveMart Centre…the house that Jose built… in Fresno, California.
On a rare Sunday afternoon fight card on ESPN, massively popular Avanel, California champion Jose Ramirez was defending his WBC super lightweight title against Jose Zepeda at the jam packed SaveMart Centre in Fresno, California where Ramirez is a huge draw.
The event was also raising awareness for cancer with proceeds from the fight being donated to a local cancer community center. Ramirez has long been an advocate for water rights for local agricultural workers in the region. An unbeaten champion, with a philanthropic heart for local causes, you can see why Ramirez has emerged as a huge star in the central valley.
* WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez (24-0, 16 KO’s) scored a MD 12 over Jose “Chon” Zepeda (30-2, 25 KO’s). It was a close fight but the right fighter got the decision. The aggressive Ramirez won by scores of 114-144, 115-113, 116-112.
*Former WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KO’s) scored a KO 9 over previously unbeaten Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13 KO’s). Okada had his moments but the relentless grinding of Beltran finally got to the previously unbeaten Okada in the 9th round where he was dropped (2 times) and stopped. With Beltran looking for a title shot, and now campaigning at 140-pounds, we might see Ramirez vs. the rugged veteran Beltran back in Fresno before the year is out. Beltran said after the fight that he would also move back to 135-pounds for a title shot.
*Unbeaten featherweight Carlos Castro (22-0, 9 KO’s) won a UD 10 over former world title challenger Genesis Servania (32-2, 15 KOs).
*Recent high school graduate, lightweight Gabe Flores jr. moved to a perfect (12-0, 5 KO’s) against tough Canadian Alex Rynn Torres (6-3, 3 KO’s).
*Super featherweight prospect Andy “El Tiburon” Vences (22-0-1, 12 KO’s) scored a UD 8 over game, but out-gunned, Dardan Zenunaj (14-6, 11 KO’s).
*Big upset - super lightweight Cristian Coria (29-7-2, 13 KO’s) KO 3 Joel Diaz Jr. (24-2, 20 KOs).
*Heavyweight Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (2-0, 2 KO’s), who represented Italy at the 2016 Rio Olympics, scored a TKO 1 over Andrew Satterfield (4-1, 2 KOs).
In other weekend action…
-On Saturday night, at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, it was upset time as underdog Andrew Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KO’s) scored a KO 4 over previously undefeated, WBA super featherweight champion Alberto Machado (21-1, 17 KO’s).
- Mexico’s, WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (33-0, 22 KO’s) earned a UD 12 over Franklin Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KO’s) on Saturday night, also at the Fantasy Springs Casino. The champion earned a 117-108 nod on all 3 scorecards.
- Baltimore’s WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (21-0, 20 KO’s) of Baltimore blasted former world champion Hugo Ruiz (39-5, 33 KO’s) of Mexico, with a KO 1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park (former StubHub Centre) in Carson, California on Saturday night.
-Australian light middleweight Tim Tszyu (12-0, 10 KO’s) scored a TKO 2 over former Commonwealth Champion Denton Vassell (25-5, 11 KO’s) to capture the WBA Oceana super welterweight title bout in Sydney, NSW, Australia. Tim, the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, is a fighter to keep an eye on in 2019.
And, in other boxing news this past week…
-Former IBF middleweight, and WBA super-middleweight champion Michael “Second To” Nunn was released from prison this past week after serving nearly 16 years. He compiled an impressive 58-4 (37 KO’s) record in a career that saw him fight James Toney, Iran Barkley, Marlon Starling and Donald Curry. Several months after his last bout in 2002, Nunn was arrested after buying drugs from an undercover officer. Due to his prior history, he got a stiff, 24-year sentence. He was released early due to good behavior - best of luck going forward Michael.
-WBO world featherweight champion, Oscar Valdez, fresh off his TKO, title defense win over Carmine Tommasone in Frisco, Texas a week ago, completed the Meza-Phoenix Marathon this weekend. He completed the full, 42-kilometres/26-mile, run in an impressive 3:29.
- Boxing, sadly, said goodbye to former WBA super featherweight, and IBF junior lightweight champion, Ricky “Rocky” Lockridge, at the age of 60, this past week. He passed from complications due to strokes and pneumonia. RIP champion!!
- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KO’s) will be defending his WBC/WBA titles in a 12-round unification fight against IBF middleweight world champion Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) on the celebratory, May 4, weekend of Cinco de Mayo. The bout has landed at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
- He’s had a great run but it’s done. He has money in the bank and nothing left in the tank - Stop! Former WBA super-middleweight champion Anthony Mundine has decided to continue his boxing career despite being stopped in the1st round in his last fight against former world champion Jeff Horn. He has an impressive resume, has made a lot of money and should be set financially. Mundine had all the signs of a shot fighter last time out and it’s time to walk away. Mundine is 43-years old, is 2-4 in his last 6, and there is nothing left for him to do in boxing except get hurt.