Boxing fiesta in Las Vegas: Zurdo, Valdez, Ramirez win Saturday

Take that, Donald Trump. Mexican fighters on the undercard supporting Pacquiao vs. Bradley III made a good showing.

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Gilberto Ramirez (left) is the first Mexican super middleweight world champion after beating Arthur Abraham Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Gilberto Ramirez (left) is the first Mexican super middleweight world champion after beating Arthur Abraham Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

SAN DIEGO, April 9, 2016 – Mexican boxers put on a show even Donald Trump would enjoy on the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Bradley III event in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Mexican Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision over Armenian born German fighter Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs), taking Abraham’s WBO world super middleweight title and becoming the heaviest weight division champion ever from Mexico. All three judges scored it 120-108, a complete shutout for Ramirez.

The stats tell the story. Ramirez landed 144 of 523 punches through (27 percent); Abraham just 85 or 441 punches (19 percent). Ramirez landed 125 power punches, Abraham landed 57 power punches.

Gilberto Ramirez (right) was the far busier fighter, beating Arthur Abraham Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Gilberto Ramirez (right) was the far busier fighter, beating Arthur Abraham Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

On paper it was a big step up for Ramirez. But Abraham didn’t put up a whole lot of fight in his first appearance in Las Vegas. It was a victory of youth over experience. Ramirez showed great improvement in his skills. Abraham’s face showed the punishment dished out by Ramirez. It was a fine performance in a division getting more interesting every day.

Oscar Valdez (right) scored an impressive fourth round TKO win against Evgeny Gradovich Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Oscar Valdez (right) scored an impressive fourth round TKO win against Evgeny Gradovich Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Featherweight Oscar Valdez Jr. of Mexico (19-0, 17 KOs) remained undefeated, scoring a wicked TKO win over the tough Evgeny Gradovich of Russia (21-2-1, 9 KOs). Valdez was dishing out plenty of damage to Gradovich before he dropped him to the canvas twice in the fourth round. Gradovich, the “Mexican Russian,” beat the first count, but referee Russell Mora waived off the count when Gradovich fell the second time, stopping the fight at 2:14 of round 4. Valdez now holds the NABO Featherweight title. “It just wasn’t our night,” said Gradovich’s trainer, Robert Garcia.

“It felt great,” said Valdez after the fight. “Once the fights get tougher, I have to increase myself. I’ve evolved since my first fight.” Does Valdez think he is ready for the likes of top level competition like Vasyl Lomachenko? “He has a belt, and I think he’s proven he’s up there as a world champion. He earned his spot. I think I earned my spot,” said Valdez. Valdez landed 109 of 295 punches (37 percent); Gradovich just 28 of 220 punches (13 percent); Valdez landed 45 percent of his power shots.

Jose Ramirez scored a decisive unanimous decision over Manny Perez Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Jose Ramirez scored a decisive unanimous decision over Manny Perez Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Lightweight Mexican-American Jose Ramirez of California (17-0, 12 KOs), did battle against a determined Manny Perez of Denver, Colorado (25-12-1, 6 KOs). Ramirez brought a lot of fight to Perez, but Perez never backed down for a second and took the fight through all ten rounds to a decision. All three judges scored it for the former Olympian Ramirez, 97-93. 98-92, and 99-91. Perez took a lot of punishment courtesy of Ramirez’s left hook, but you have to admire his determination. Raminrez put valuable rounds in the bank toward the development of his career. Ramirez landed 278 of 751 punches thrown (37 percent); Perez landed 202 of 677 punches (30 percent). Ramirez landed 207 power punches (46 percent), Perez 170 power punches (38 percent).

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story. 

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