ATLANTIC CITY – In the HBO co-feature, undefeated Rico Ramos authored a sure-fire knockout of the year candidate, stopping WBA 122-pound titleholder Akifumi Shimoda with a picture-perfect left hook in the seventh round.
Ramos of Los Angeles, Calif. was clearly losing the fight when he landed the fight-ending shot – RingTV.com had Shimoda winning all six prior rounds, 60-54 at the time of the stoppage. The three judges at ringside had it 59-55 twice and 60-54.
The southpaw Shimoda of Tokyo, Japan outworked “Sauvecito” Ramos over the first half of the bout, uncorking counter-overhand lefts and landing often to the body.
Shimoda out-landed Ramos 95-60 in power punches, illustrating the pace of the fight.
Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) was unable to cope with Shimoda’s crisp punching, as he was inactive for much of the bout, throwing few shots.
In the fifth, a clash of heads opened up a gash over the right eye of Ramos, a clear target for Shimoda’s accurate overhand lefts.
Shimoda (23-3-1, 10 KOs) landed body shots at will, but was repeatedly warned by referee Benji Estevez for low blows, even though the shots all appeared on the beltline. Still, that didn’t deter Shimoda, who continued to work the midsection of Ramos and put round-after-round in the bank.
Then, in round seven, Ramos put Shimoda’s lights out, leveling his foe with a compact left hook right on the button.
Time of the stoppage was 2:46 of round seven.
“I was behind until the fifth round, and then I got my energy back,” said Ramos, promoted by Goosen Tutor promotions. “He was frustrating me but I knew that I couldn’t let that happen. I wasn’t looking for the knockout, but I knew I had to come forward and I knew I had to carry the fight.
“I was throwing right hands a lot to the body and that s when I surprised him and I threw a left. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 16 years. I’ve worked hard and I’m happy with my victory.”
Also on the undercard, Jhonny Gonzalez (49-7, 42 KOs) retained his WBC featherweight title – which he won via fourth round KO over Hozumi Hasegawa in April – stopping Tomas Villa of Mexico in the fourth round.
Gonzalez, per the usual, consistently went to the body, landing crushing blows to Villa’s midsection, thus forcing the Mexican to drop his hands. Gonzalez then put this to good use, going upstairs and then back down to the body, to great effect.
Gonzalez, ranked No. 9 at 126 by The Ring, has been in many wars over the years, namely his 2006 slugfest with Israel Vazquez.
Gonzalez dropped him with a vicious left to the body and then followed with a straight down the pipe – but the body shot did all the damage. Villa dropped to a knee, paralyzed by the shot. He beat the count, but referee Eddie Cotton rightfully waved it off immediately, as Villa was spitting up blood and could barely walk.
The stoppage came in 49 seconds of round four.
With his second consecutive impressive victory, Gonzalez puts himself squarely in the mix for big fights in the loaded featherweight division.
Arreola continued his comeback, going the distance, in a rarity, outpointing Friday Ahunanya over 10 rounds.
Arreola came out and went straight to the body, methodically breaking down the out-of-shape Ahunanya.
In round four, Ahunanya landed several nice shots, but Arreola ate them and came storming back, pushing Ahunanya back into a corner and unloading on him.
Arreola’s best round came in the seventh, as he trapped his foe on the ropes and landed hard shots, stunning Ahunanya and him reeling as the bell sounded to end the stanza.
Arreola looked a bit sluggish, lacking the usual sting on his punches, but nonetheless got in some quality rounds in his quest to stay active and keep his weight down.
Scores were 99-91 twice and 100-90.
In the walkout bout of the Williams-Lara card, Al Haymon-managed prospect Denis “Da Momma’s Boy” Douglin returned, fighting for the first time since his first professional defeat, a third-round KO loss to Doel Carrasquillo in February.
Douglin (13-1, 8 KOs) showed no ill effects, out-pointing Phillip McCants (9-3-1, 3 KOs) over six rounds by scores of 60-54 twice and 58-56.
The Marlboro, N.J.-based Douglin boxed effectively, slipping and landing crisp punches throughout the bout. Douglin, trained by his mother Saphya, landed one-twos before escaping out of harm’s way. He was very effective off the ropes, carrying him to the six-round decision and back on the fast-track in the junior middleweight division.