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  Rico Ramos Defeats Alejandro Valdez;
But Is He Ready For A Title Shot?

By Tim Donaldson
Photos: Ray Bailey


Goossen Tutor promoted the fight as “a night of fistic fireworks at Bally’s Atlantic City that just might rival any summer evening of pyrotechnical entertainment.” The fight was just that. However, the favorite, Ramos, was not the one creating the fireworks. Ramos, who is looking for that world title shot, showed that as a fighter he is vulnerable.

Back in December, Ramos had admitted that he had not seen any video of Valdez fight. It looked as though in the months to follow he still had not seen any video because Ramos did not look ready for what was coming his way. Valdez is a tough fighter who refuses to give up and refuses to admit that he cannot win.

Rico Ramos did control the early rounds. The first round started slow, neither fighter committing to an exchange. But about the middle of the round Ramos caught Valdez in the head with a left. This woke up Valdez. Even though he still refused to go all out, Valdez was throwing more punches now. Valdez stepped up his attack in the second round, but he was getting hit whenever he tried to come in. Ramos was proving to be the better counter puncher. It looked as though Ramos would have an easy time with this fight. But by the end of the round, Valdez was cutting off the ring, keeping Ramos against the ropes.

Ramos did not seem concerned with how the second round ended. He came out in the third and staggered Valdez with a hard shot. Ramos stepped up his attack at this point and fired off a flurry of shots. Again Valdez looked as though he might be in trouble; however, he stepped up his attack at the end of the round. Cutting of the ring like before, Valdez looked as though he might turn the fight around. This continued at the beginning of the fourth round. Valdez was able to catch Ramos in the corner. It was a battle between the two. Valdez seemed unable to keep Ramos up against the ropes, and the battle continued in the middle of the ring. Valdez never let up on his attack. He just kept throwing punch after punch, keeping Ramos from landing his own punches.

By the time the fifth round began Valdez had seemingly figured out what he needed to do to win this fight. As long as he kept firing, Ramos was having trouble finding his rhythm. Ramos was doing a lot more moving this round, putting as much distance between him and Valdez as a fighter can. But Valdez never let up his attack. In the beginning of the sixth round the two were fighting in the center of the ring. Valdez kept coming forward, and Ramos was trying hard to tie him up. It was a hard fought round. Both fighters were leaning on each other as they battled it out as the bell sounded.

Valdez sensed that his constant pressure on Ramos was working and kept up the attack in the seventh round. Valdez pressured Ramos into the corner, but Ramos was able to use his body to push his way out. Valdez just chased Ramos down. Ramos tried to pick up his attack at the end of the round, but he clearly was having trouble with Valdez. The eighth round looked much the same. Ramos was trying to move more to keep Valdez from getting him in the corner. But that is exactly where Ramos ended up again. Valdez just kept the pressure up the entire round.

As soon as the ninth round began, Valdez again pressured Ramos to the ropes. The two were fighting in close. Ramos was able to deliver a strong flurry of punches. Valdez put Ramos back against the ropes a second time. They had another strong exchange, and Ramos was able to finish the round strong. Ramos kept the momentum from the end of the ninth round into the beginning of the tenth. The two had another strong exchange. Then Valdez head-butted Ramos. Ramos went down from the force of the blow. When Ramos got back up and the fight continued, Ramos fired off a barrage of shots that Valdez had no answer for. Valdez tried to hold to stop him, but this didn’t even seem to work. Ramos fired a hard left to the head of Valdez, but the shot had little effect. When the bell sounded, both fighters raised their hands in victory.

It seemed as though it would be a tough fight to score. It had been a constant battle back and forth between the two. However, all three judges agreed that Rico Ramos was the winner. Valdez had only won three rounds on any judge’s scorecard. But this doesn’t matter. It only matters that Ramos won and rightfully so. Even so, for those who were watching, it leaves one question. Is Ramos truly ready to take on a title holder?

In the co-feature Don George came to make an impression on the fight fans, and that is exactly what he did. Cornelius White came out in the first round, wasting little time before he started throwing punches. George for those first 30-45 seconds seemed to be waiting for his moment. When it came, George fired off a barrage of shots that knocked White to the canvas. As soon as the fight was allowed to continue, George again fired off a barrage. White was overwhelmed by the sheer number of punches coming his way, and once again found himself on the canvas. He survived another count. George came at White with another barrage. Referee Randy Neumann was signaling that the fight was over as White was once again falling to the canvas. The fight was over in two minutes and two seconds. Don George had made his impression on Showtime.


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