Jose Ramirez Defeats Jose Pedraza
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank
Jose Ramirez returned to the friendly Central Valley
confines and got back on track. Ramirez defeated former
two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza by unanimous
decision (116-112 3x) Friday evening at Save Mart Center
in the junior welterweight main event.
Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) returned to the win column
following last May's decision loss to Josh Taylor in a
showdown for the undisputed title. Pedraza (29-4, 14
KOs) had some success in the middle rounds, picking
Ramirez off at range and rolling off shots against the
ropes. Ramirez was ahead by two points on all three
judges' cards entering the 11th, and he amped up the
pressure in the final two rounds, outlanding Pedraza
The fight served as a WBC title eliminator, giving
Ramirez a clear path to a title shot if Taylor, as
expected, vacates all four titles and campaigns at
Ramirez said, "Jose Pedraza is a smart, experienced
fighter. He was going to find a way to survive and put
up a fight. He was there boxing towards the end of the
fight. My hatís off to him and his team. He was
well-prepared. It was a great fight. I got to see where
I am right now.
"Iím going to go back, work and stay focused and stay
active. Thatís one thing thatís affected me these last
couple of years. Iíve trained so many times for a little
bit of fights. My inactivity, my discouragement
throughout training camps, it really took a big toll on
me. Iím ready to stay active and stay motivated. Thereís
a lot of really great fighters coming up to 140. Thereís
a lot of really good fighters at 140 right now."
Torrez Jr. KOs Melson in Pro Debut
Heavyweight prospect Richard Torrez Jr., the U.S.
Olympic silver medalist from Tulare, California, made
his professional debut in front of the home region fans
with a second-round knockout over Alabama native Allen
Melson (6-4, 3 KOs).
Torrez knocked down Melson three times, once in the
first and twice in the second. A clash of heads opened
up a cut along Torrez's right eyebrow late in the first
round, but the youngster came out swinging in the
second. The second knockdown of the round, a short left
hand, laid out Melson.
Torrez landed 15 of his 40 power shots.
Torrez said, "After the cut, I knew I had to get back to
basics, and thatís what I did. I made sure to avoid
additional head clashes, and I got the job done in the
ďSure, the cut is frustrating, but Iím not going to let
it ruin the celebration. What a night. It was everything
Iíd hoped it would be.
ďI didnít know what to expect. I wanted to make a good
first impression, especially in front of my home fans.
They brought the energy, and I fed off the energy they
gave me. The Central Valley is home, and I am proud to
represent my people.Ē
Gonzalez KOs Santisima in 9
It was a sudden, stunning finish as two-time world title
challenger Joet Gonzalez stopped Jeo Santisima in the
ninth round to pick up the WBO International
featherweight belt. Gonzalez (25-2, 15 KOs) landed a
crisp right hand that backed up Santisima (21-4, 18
KOs), and referee Edward Collantes immediately waved off
the fight. Santisima's corner was stunned at the turn of
events, as it did not appear as if the Filipino
contender was seriously hurt.
For Gonzalez, it was a much-needed victory, as he was
less than six months removed from a decision loss to WBO
featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete.
Junior Lightweight: Gabriel Flores Jr. (21-1, 7 KOs) MD
10 Abraham Montoya (20-3-1, 14 KOs). Scores: 95-95 and
96-94 2x Flores. The young star from Stockton,
California, Flores had a tough night at the office
coming off his first career defeat. While Montoya landed
many of the heavier punches, it was Flores who built the
early lead and swept the final round on the judges'
cards to earn the nod. After the fight, Flores told
ESPN's Mark Kriegel that he planned on moving to
Lightweight: Hector Tanajara Jr. (19-1-1, 5 KOs) Draw 8
Miguel Contreras (11-1-1, 6 KOs). Scores: 78-74 Tanajara,
77-75 Contreras and 76-76. In a battle of lightweights
coming off their first career defeats, Tanajara and
Contreras thrilled the fans with a phone booth battle
that left the judges split. In the eighth round, the two
exchanged vicious right hands, but neither man was
Lightweight: Karlos Balderas (12-1, 11 KOs) KO 2 Aelio
Mesquita (20-7-1, 18 KOs), :38. Balderas, from Santa
Maria, California, ran through the overmatched Mesquita,
punctuating the fight with a right hand that knocked his
foe into the neutral corner.
Middleweight: Javier Martinez (6-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Donte
Stubbs (6-4, 2 KOs). Scores: 59-56 and 58-55 2x.
Milwaukee native Martinez tasted the canvas in the third
round but controlled the rest of the fight to earn the
wide points verdict. Stubbs was behind in the fight when
he landed a right hand to Martinez's jaw, but he could
not capitalize on the temporary momentum.
Lightweight: Charlie Sheehy (2-0, 2 KOs) KO 1 Johnny
Bernal (2-1, 2 KOs), 2:33. Sheehy shined in his Top Rank
debut, dropping Bernal with a right hand and following
up with an assault that prompted the referee to step in.
Heavyweight: Antonio Mireles (3-0, 3 KOs) KO 2 Brandon
Hughes (2-1, 2 KOs), 1:02. The Robert Garcia-trained
Mireles, a 6'9 puncher, prevailed in the battle of
unbeaten big men. Mireles scored three knockdowns in
less than two rounds and ended the fight with a
combination that left Hughes wobbly and on the deck.