SAN DIEGO, Calif., August 29, 2020 – Jose Ramirez had to warm up the engine after a long layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. When he finally did, he did just enough to survive a battle with veteran Viktor Postol of Ukraine to win a majority decision win. Scorecards were 116-112 and 115-113 for Ramirez, with a 114-114 on the third card.
“I went in there too cold with the little bit of hesitation at times. It was a new experience with no crowd, it felt like sparring,” said Ramirez after the fight. He said the long layoff affected him. “It happens, you know. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the ring and such a long training camp,” said Ramirez. “We live and we learn, this is a learning experience. I was kind of burned out mentally,” admitted Ramirez. He also said the lack of fans left him struggling to motivate himself in the ring.
“I was looking for that one big shot. I was a little too patient. I needed to let my hands go,” said Ramirez. “There were also so many things going on in my personal life. I just wanted to go through the motions of this fight.”
From the start of the fight, Postol did what he does well, fight patiently behind his accurate jab. Ramirez had to eat some shots from Postol and was willing to do it to get inside of the Ukrainian’s solid jab attack. Early in the fight, Postol landed more punches than Ramirez. It’s his strategy to win rounds early and ride a lead on the scorecards to the final bell. It was working.
Garcia steps in to provide much-needed motivation
Trainer Robert Garcia urged Ramirez to use head movement and pick up the pace to deliver power punches to Postol, but he is difficult to hit. Into the middle rounds, Postol’s strategy was getting the better of Ramirez, who struggled to solve the Postol puzzle. After the sixth round, Garcia told Ramirez the rounds were close.
Ramirez got the message. In the seventh, he delivered a short shot with the left hand to Postol’s chin, and Postol staggered. Ramirez smelled his opportunity. Ramirez did a better job cutting off the ring and closing distance to get to the body where Postol was vulnerable. Ramirez built on his success in the following rounds, settling in and ripping body shots. It left Postol open to another hard left hook to the head. The veteran Ukrainian put on a poker face hoping to avoid giving Ramirez any encouragement.
Postol kept himself in the fight and found a home for a straight right behind the jab in the tenth round, which never failed him in the fight. He kept making Ramirez think a little too much, just enough to slow him down. Garcia told Ramirez he needed to win the last two rounds of the fight.
Assuming Josh Taylor successfully defends his titles against his mandatory challenger next month, Ramirez and Taylor are heading for a unification showdown. Ramirez said he would need to go back to what he does best. “I can show more. When I come across Josh Taylor, I’m going to show that,” said Ramirez. Ramirez said he would rather fight in the UK with a crowd than in The Bubble closer to home. “The fight deserves that,” said Ramirez.
Arnold Barboza Jr. shows a new look in decision win
Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. of Los Angeles (24-0, 10 KOs) cruised through his fight with Canadian veteran Tony Luis (29-4, 10 KOs), winning by unanimous decision in 10 rounds. Scorecards were 99-90 for Barboza Jr., marred only by a point deduction for a low blow.
Barboza Jr. is skilled and focused in the ring. He used the rounds to work from the southpaw stances several times, a new wrinkle for Barboza Jr. He works well to the body, and as Luis dropped the elbows to protect the left flank, Barboza Jr. switched his stance to deliver damage to the head.
Barboza Jr. didn’t turn up the heat enough to send Luis home early, but going 10 solid rounds after the pandemic drought didn’t hurt. Barboza Jr. landed 225 of 690 total punches (33 percent), with 41 body shots landed. Luis landed just 135 of 577 punches.
“I need the rounds. I showed a little bit of what I’ve been working on,” said Barboza Jr. “I got the rust out, I’m ready for the next step. I want (Alex) Salcedo. I think we’ll give a great fight.”
Elvis Rodriguez keeps delivering the hits
Dominican knockout artist Elvis Rodriguez (9-0-1. 9 KOs) kept his knockout streak going in short order, dropping opponent Cody Wilson of West Virginia (9-3, 6 KOs) with a straight left hand in the first minute of their six-round bout, going on to flatten Wilson with a hard left hook at 1:03 of the third round. Almost as impressive as the power punch was the lead right jab, and half step back allowing Rodriguez the leverage to deliver the blow.
“We knew it was going to be a tough fight. I’m a 140-pound fighter, but this fight was at 144 pounds,” said Rodriguez. “I had to be patient, but I knew I could set up that knockout. I knew I was more powerful, it was only a matter of time.”
Trainer Freddie Roach considers Rodriguez his best prospect and it’s easy to see why. It’s time for Roach and Marvin Somodio to send Rodriguez in against tougher opponents that will take him rounds to help his excellent skills improve even more. “Obviously, when someone like Freddie Roach, a Hall of Famer, a legendary trainer says that about me, wow it’s really incredible. But it brings some pressure. I’ve got to perform.” Rodriguez dedicated the fight to his mom on her birthday.
Muratalla brothers double up the wins
The Muratalla Brothers of Fontana fought on the same card for the fight time as pros. First out was the younger brother who’s made a name for himself in The Bubble, the fighting pre-school teacher Gabriel Muratalla (5-0, 3 KOs), who overcame a first-round knockdown by Justice Bland of Brooklyn (2-1) to win a unanimous decision by scores of 58-56 on all three cards. Bland hurt his cause by getting docked a point after the knockdown when he hit Muratalla as he was down. It was a lesson well learned for Muratalla in regrouping and figuring out his opponent to come back.
Older brother Raymond Muratalla (10-0, 8 KOs) also suffered a knockdown in the first round in his bout against Cesar Alan Valenzuela of Mexico (15-7-1, 5 KOs). Muratalla had been out of the ring for 10 months and responded to the wake-up call. He kept up a strong work rate and found a home for his solid right hook. He began to add left hands when Valenzuela started bleeding from the nose and struggling to breathe. By the seventh round, referee Mike Ortega decided the tough Valenzuela had enough of Muratalla’s offense and stopped the bout at 2:24 of the seventh round.
In the opening bout, middleweights Javier Martinez of Milwaukee (2-0) and Rance Ward of Houma, Louisiana (4-2-1, 2 KOs) went all four rounds for a shutout unanimous decision in favor of Martinez. Ward put on a much better fight than the scores indicate, making Martinez work hard for the win.
The night’s results made it 4 and 0 for trainer Robert Garcia, who trains the Muratalla brothers, Javier Martinez, and Jose Ramirez.
Daniel Dubois sends Snijders to the showers early
— Daniel Dubois (@DynamiteDubois) August 29, 2020
In earlier action in London, British heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) didn’t get much of a challenge from Dutch opponent Ricardo Snijders (18-2, 8 KOs) in his return to the ring. Joyce dropped Snijders three times in the first round. The Dutchman made it through the round, but after 20 more seconds the referee wisely ended the contest.
“I wanted to go in there and impress. The only way I thought I could do that was to take him out straight away,” said Dubois. “You don’t get paid for overtime in this game. I was on a mission to get rid of the cobwebs and get back into it, then step up.”
The 22-year-old undefeated powerhouse’s performance sets up a showdown with countryman Joe Joyce.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for Communities and for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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