Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Lomachenko stops Ramirez in fourth round of pro debut
Ukrainian two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko scored two knockdowns during his fourth-round stoppage of Jose Luis Ramirez in his professional debut on Saturday.
LAS VEGAS -- Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, a winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London, scored knockdowns with body shots in the first and fourth round of Saturday night's fourth-round stoppage against hard-hitting Mexican rival Jose Luis Ramirez in a scheduled 10-rounder in his professional debut at Thomas & Mack Center.
In victory, Lomachenko (1-0, 1 knockout) hopes to become the first boxer to win a title in his second professional bout by facing Mexican veteran Orlando Salido, whose seventh-round knockout of Puerto Rican featherweight contender Orlando Cruz earned the WBO's vacant belt and prevented Cruz from becoming the first openly gay boxer to win a major world title.
Top Rank's Bob Arum said he would like to match Salido and Cruz on Jan. 25 at New York's Madison Square Garden.
"I worked and tried to keep my distance throughout the fight," said Lomachenko, 25, whose bout with Ramirez (25-4, 15 KOs) took place on the undercard of an HBO Pay Per view main event between WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley and four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez. "I'm happy with my performance. It was a good effort, but I know that I can do better."
Top Rank President Todd duBoef liked what he saw from Lomachenko.
"Usually you don't see a young amateur go to the body and decimate somebody that way. Usually, the last thing they learn to do is to go to the body. You saw a guy that controlled the pace and who took him out with body shots," said duBoef.
Lomanchenko drove a left to the solar plexus that caused a delayed reaction from Ramirez, who dropped to both knees before rising slowly at referee Russell Mora's count of seven.
"His punches to the body hurt more than the punches to my head. He's so fast. I'm really hurting. His body punches were just killing me," said Ramirez. "When I signed for this fight, I knew what I was getting into. He's a world class athlete. He's a great fighter and he'll be a great champion."
There has also been talk of eventually matching Lomachenko and RING, WBA and WBO champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, who will face former bantamweight beltholder Joseph Agbeko at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Dec. 7.
A former two-time Olympic gold medalist for Cuba, Rigondeaux won the WBA's bantamweight belt in his seventh bout by split-decision over Ricardo Cordoba in November of 2010.
"I have a great deal of respect for Rigondeaux," said Lomachenko. "But I need a few more fights before I'm ready for him."
In a light heavyweight bout, "Irish" Seanie Monaghan (19-0, 12 KOs), of Long Beach, N.Y., scored his second straight stoppage behind a barrage of blows against Anthony Caputo Smith (14-2, 10 KOs) at 2:39 of the third round.
"It was a pretty easy fight," said Monaghan. "I'm planning to return to the ring at [New York's] Madison Square Garden in a pretty significant fight."
Smith brought the fight to Monaghan in the first round, following him to the ropes. With about a minute left, Monaghan moved forward and drove home right and left uppercuts before delivering several overhand rights behind a decent jab. Monahan enjoyed the advantage over the last half of the round, delivering equally to the head and body through a gradually depleting attack by Smith.
The second began similarly, with Smith boring in with overhand rights and lefts and an occasional elbow. By mid-round, however, Monaghan, bleeding slightly from the nose, was coming straight up the middle with shots that bobbled Smith's head and backed Smith up. Smith was game, however, swinging wildly and landing occasionally until Monahan's jab got going once again.
The third round was more of the same, Monaghan pumping the jab before briefly being driven to the ropes. Three times during exchanges, Monaghan wobbled Smith with overhand rights to the delight of the crowd. He then hammered Smith relentlessly with right- and and left-crosses that landed repeatedly until referee Tony Weeks had seen enough and stepped in to stop the fight
In the evening's first bout of the eight-fight card, welterweights Brad Soloman (21-0, 8 KOs) overcame Kenny Abril (14-7-1, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision, after which light heavyweight Trevor McCrumby (13-0, 10 KOs) rose from a second-round knockdown to unanimously decision Eric Watkins (10-5-1, 4 KOs), who was floored in the first and fourth rounds.
McCumby defeated Watkins for the second time, having won by unanimous decision in December.
Also, 147-pounders Mikael Zewski (21-0, 16 KOs) scored a fifth-round stoppage of Alberto Herrera (9-10-1, 5 KOs) in the evening's third bout, and featherweight Jun Doliguez (17-0-1, 13 KOs) dropped a bloody Geovanny Caro (23-14-4, 19 KOs) twice in the sixth and final round of his knockout.
Photos by Jeff Bottari-Gettyimages; Ethan Miller-Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org