Corey Erdman

Maldonado blasts out Ramos, Guerrero escapes with one

When Luis Ramos Jr. suffered his first loss to Ricardo Williams Jr. late last year, it was shrugged off due to its controversial nature.

The same can’t be done for his second loss to Fidel Maldonado Jr.

Maldonado, 22, of Albuquerque, N.M., scored an emphatic seventh-round TKO over Ramos Jr. in the main event of the Golden Boy Live! event from San Antonio, Texas.

Both fighters came out swinging from the opening bell, and Ramos was cut by a right hook midway through the first frame. The Californian was unstable for the remainder of the round, and stayed on the inside as much out of fighting desire as necessity in order to see his opponent.

Ramos (23-2, 10 KOs) eventually settled down and began to pick his shots from the outside, but never appeared to handle Maldonado’s shots particularly well. That point would be proven in the sixth round, as Ramos waded back inside and was clocked right a short right hook for the first knockdown. Another flurry from Maldonado sent him back to the canvas for another eight count right before the bell.

It wouldn’t take much longer for Maldonado to close to show, as he blitzed a still-reeling Ramos at the beginning of the seventh for another knockdown, causing referee Mark Calo-Oy to wave it off.

Maldonado (17-2, 14 KOs) gets back into the fringes of the light welterweight picture, capping off a solid run in 2013, following a pair of televised losses in 2012. With some good pop in both hands, and a style immune to snoozers, he’ll continue to get time under the TV lights.

The co-feature was supposed to be an easy bounce back night for Fernando Guerrero, after a failed bid at the WBO middleweight strap against Peter Quillin, but local club fighter Ray Gatica had other plans.

Though Guerrero achieved the desired result, via very controversial unanimous decision, the journey was anything but simple.

Gatica (13-2, 8 KOs) got off to a blazing start, wobbling and dropping Guerrero in the opening frame. The Texan dangled a jab and came behind it with a hard overhand left that made Guerrero’s legs quiver until he stumbled and slumped to the canvas along the ropes. Guerrero managed to compose himself and recover, and bounced back with a big second round, turning the tables and jarring Gatica with a sweeping left.

The middle rounds briefly began to look the way the prognosticators would have predicted. Gatica, who had never fought in a 10-round bout prior, seemingly began to tire and saw his bouncing rhythm disappear. Guerrero’s jab began to land on his flat-footed opponent. However, Gatica began to move and started to catch Guerrero with more right hooks and looping left hands.

Guerrero (26-2, 19 KOs) was hurt again in the 8th round with a wild right hook. The impact was certainly amplified by the fact that his mouthpiece was on the canvas at the time, where it stayed for the remainder of the round as Gatica applied relentless pressure trying to stop him.

In the final round, things got dicey for the former world title challenger once again. Gatica landed another hook in an exchange that buckled Guerrero, who is happy he did that last set of squats, as he very nearly touched the mat before stalling in a backcatcher’s stance and regaining his posture. Nonetheless, he was visibly hurt for the remainder of the round.

In the end, the judges scored the bout unanimously 96-93 across the board. With a handful of swing rounds, and at the very least, four clear rounds, including a knockdown for Gattica, seven-rounds-to-three scorecards in favor of Guerrero are hard to comprehend.

In the broadcast opener, 2012 US Olympian Terrell Gausha had another brief outing as a professional, knocking Andres Calixto out in the first round.

Gausha measured his overmatched opponent for the opening minute, before finding an opening for a hard right hand. The Cleveland native uncorked a counter that landed right on Calixto’s right temple, sending him face first to the canvas immediately.

With the win, Gausha improves to 7-0, with 5 KOs, with six of those wins coming this calendar year.

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