LAS VEGAS — Mexican-American amateur sensation Jose Ramirez dropped Denver’s Corey Siegwarth with a left to the body, and then battered him until referee Vic Drakulich stepped in to end Ramirez’s professional debut in the first round on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The 20-year-old was considered to be among the premiere prospects in the 2012 Olympic Games in London despite being eliminated following his first-round victory.
“It’s the first time that I ever fought without head gear, and my professional gloves are smaller, but I was very sharp,” said Ramirez, who dropped Seigwarth to 2-2 with one knockout.
“I hit him with some very good shots to the body, and I felt very comfortable, and I knew I was going to take him out. I want to fight six times this year.”
Ramirez went 145-11 as an amateur, winning 11 national titles. As a lightweight, Ramirez, of Avenal, Calif., surpassed Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Shane Mosley to become USA Boxing’s all-time record-holder.
Trainer Armando Mancinas, who worked the corner alongside Roach, was pleased with Ramirez’s performance.
“It was a good fight, he started off pretty fast, he figured out his opponent right away,” said Mancinas. “He used a lot of speed and power and that’s what it takes at this level. He did over 40 rounds of sparring in preparation for this fight and it turned out really well for us.”
The Pacquiao-Marquez undercard will be highligted by former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa against Filipino Michael Farenas, left-handed featherweight Javier Fortuna opposite Patrick Hyland (27-0, 12 KOs), and IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs) against Mercito Gesta (26-0, 14 KOs).
In the night’s first bout, junior lightweight Ernie Sanchez (14-3, 5 KOs) scored a third-round knock down on the way to an eight-round unanimous decision over Coy Evans (10-2-1, 2 KOs), and was followed by a second-round knockout by featherweight Dodie Boy Penalosa (10-0, 10 KOs) over Jesus Lule-Raya (6-5, 1 KO).
Penalosa is the son of former IBF junior flyweight and flyweight titleholder Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr., as well as the nephew of former WBC junior bantamweight and WBO bantamweight titleholder Gerry Penalosa.
The 23-year-old Penalosa Jr. was fighting for the first time outside of his home country, but had the benefit of training alongside Pacquiao in General Santos City and Los Angeles, Calif. at the Wild Card Gym.
As impressive as the showing was, Penalosa’s own father was still his biggest critic.
“I wish the fight lasted all eight rounds so that he could get more experience,” said Penalosa Sr.
The third fight featured Alexis Hernandez (3-1, 1 KO) scoring his first stoppage in the first round over featherweight rival Jazzma Hogue (2-4-1, 0 KOs), whom he floored twice before referee Jay Nady stopped the battering at the 2:20 mark.