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Mighty big win for Jose Ramirez over Maurice Hooker Saturday

Written By | Jul 28, 2019
Jose Ramirez capitalized on his speed and power to stop Maurice Hooker in round six, becoming the WBC and WBO super lightweight champion. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Jose Ramirez capitalized on his speed and power to stop Maurice Hooker in round six, becoming the WBC and WBO super lightweight champion in July 2019. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 27, 2019 – It doesn’t happen often enough in the modern era of boxing. Two reigning world super lightweight champions risked their records to unify titles Saturday, and the outcome didn’t disappoint. Jose Ramirez of Avenal, California (25-0, 17 KOs) scored a spectacular sixth round knockout of “Mighty Mo” Maurice Hooker of Houston (26-1-3, 17 KOs) Ramirez is now the WBO and WBC super lightweight champion.

For six rounds, Ramirez and Hooker delivered nonstop, solid action throughout close, difficult to score rounds. Ramirez drew first blood, scoring a knockdown in round on. But a replay showed Ramirez stepped on Hooker’s left foot, and when Hooker tried to avoid a Ramirez jab, he lost balance and fell. Hooker protested at the time to no avail. Ramirez agreed later it wasn’t a knockdown. But the outcome made it moot.

Opportunity knocked, and Jose Ramirez answered

Maurice Hooker used his reach and power against Jose Ramirez during their bout Saturday, but couldn't convert it to a win. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Maurice Hooker used his reach and power against Jose Ramirez during their bout Saturday, but couldn’t convert it to a win. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Hooker has an 80-inch reach, but Ramirez did well taking it mostly out of play through working in closer to the body and applying nonstop pressure. Hooker adjusted by landing good check hooks. Ramirez got the best of things early in fight, pinning Hooker against the ropes. Not everything Ramirez threw connected thanks to Hooker’s defense, but it was giving him the chance to win rounds.

Hooker in turn landed solid right hands when Ramirez left himself open, but he weathered them well. As the fight headed to the middle rounds, the fight was dead even and seemed destined to go hard to the final bell.




But Ramirez had other ideas. In the sixth round, he connected with a left hook, and Ramirez saw opportunity knocking. He swarmed Hooker on the ropes, firing off a furious series of punches Hooker couldn’t answer. Referee Mark Nelson stepped in quickly to end the fight at 1:48 of the round.

Jose Ramirez caught Maurice Hooker and didn’t let the opportunity go to waste. Photo: Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing USA

“This just lets me know that I am on the right track to becoming a better fighter, a better professional. I am ready for anyone now,” said Ramirez.

“A real champion has faith in themself. I believe in my team, I believe in myself,” said Ramirez. “I came here with one mission: to become the unified champion and I did it. I am the very best guy.”

Ramirez said trainer Robert Garcia warned him Hooker would try to box him. “I had to show Maurice Hooker something different … I went back to my fundamentals, using the jab, closing the distance. Once I felt like I was I range, I threw that one-two jab that works so well for me. Then I could let my right hand go.”

Ramirez credited Hooker for landing good power shots. “He landed some right hands, probably the most powerful right hands he had. I knew I had to be careful in there, that’s for sure.”

Unified WBO and WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez celebrates with his team including trainer Robert Garcia. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

A disappointed Hooker said “When he had me on the ropes, he didn’t really catch me with anything. I was blocking everything. I was trying to catch him, it didn’t work out.”

Of the stoppage, Hooker said “I just lost focus for a quick second. I was trying to playing around with my jab hand and I lost focus. That just shows you, one second with a top fighter like that.”

Ramirez said he and Hooker stepped up to make the unification fight happen, and now it’s time for other top fighters to do the same. Sitting ringside was the target of his remarks, WBA super lightweight champion Regis Prograis, who is set to fight IBF titleholder Josh Taylor in the as-yet unscheduled World Boxing Super Series final. Assuming Prograis wins, he and Ramirez have the opportunity to unify the division in 2020. Ramirez says he’s likely to fight once again before that happens.

Tevin Farmer wins, gets paid, goes home

IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer went all 12 rounds with Guillaume Frenois at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer went all 12 rounds with Guillaume Frenois at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

IBF world super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer of Philadelphia (30-4, 6 KOs) had to go the distance, winning by unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Guillaume Frenois of France (46-2-1, 13 KOs). Scores were 119-108 and 116-112 X 2. Frenois put on a spirited defense, but Farmer’s speed and work rate were evident. The Texas crowd wasn’t happy about the performance, cheering for Frenois and booing Farmer.

“I came out here, I did what I had to do,” said Farmer. “I come out here, I fight and I win, I keep winning. I did an excellent 12 rounds. I came in shape and I fought all 12 rounds. I don’t care about the crowd. I fight, I win, I get paid and I go home to my family.” Farmer said he’d like a fight with any of the other titleholders at super featherweight, and if not, named Joseph Diaz Jr. as a potential opponent.



Farmer wore a tribute to the late Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker on his trunks, saying “The fans give a lot of fighters hell, but they don’t know what fighters go through.”

Undercard results: Tremaine Williams, Nikita Ababiy, Ammo Williams win

Austin "Ammo" Williams make quick work of former amateur opponent Jabrandon Harris Saturday. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA win for Jose Ramirez

Austin “Ammo” Williams make quick work of former amateur opponent Jabrandon Harris Saturday. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Featherweight Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams of New Haven, Connecticut (19-0, 6 KOs) remained undefeated with a 10 round unanimous decision over Yenifel Vicente (35-3-2, 27 KOs) of the Dominican Republic for the vacant USBA Super-Bantamweight title. Scores were 97-91 X 2 and 96-92.

Two middleweight division rising stars added wins to their record. Nikita “White Chocolate” Ababiy of Brooklyn (6-0, 5 KOs) won a six round shutout decision over Yunier Calzada of Houston. Austin “Ammo” Williams (3-0, 3 KOs) continued to show growth with a first round knockout over a former amateur opponent, Jabrandon Harris (0-2). Williams showed impressive punch selection and quality, eventually dropping Harris with a perfect left hook to the body. It’s a little earlier to get on the Williams hype train, but he’s three for three, fan friendly and fun to watch.

Two by two: Davis and Gamboa both score second round knockouts

Two-time WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis” scored a second round knockout of Ricardo Núñez of Panama. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Sports

Two-time WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis” scored a second round knockout of Ricardo Núñez of Panama. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Sports

Two-time WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis”  (22-0, 21 KOs) defended his title in his home town of Baltimore in high style in front of a sold out crowd of 14,686 fans in the first world championship fight in 50 years in Baltimore. Davis only needed two rounds to dispatch Ricardo Núñez of Panama (21-3, 19 KOs).

Davis got right down to business, working Núñez to the body in the first round. In the second round, Davis landed multiple left hooks to Núñez’s head. As Núñez backed up against the ropes, referee Harvey Dock moved in to stop the fight, seeing Núñez unable to defend himself. Time of the stoppage was 1:33 of round 2.

“Tonight, we showed out,” Davis said.  “It’s amazing to fight in front of my hometown fans, my family.  It’s an incredible feeling.  It’s not just a win for me, it’s a win for Baltimore.  I want to do it again.

“I’m always ready.  He wasn’t.  He wasn’t alert and I caught it with my third punch.  I got him with a body shot.  I caught him with a really nice shot.  That was it.”

Davis called out Tevin Farmer, who also won his bout tonight. “I had the WBA belt and I had the IBF belt,” said the undefeated Davis. “Tevin Farmer fought tonight.  I want Tevin.  That’s a fight that can be made.  Let’s get it on later this year.”

Gamboa resurrects his career

Yuriorkis Gamboa had his best performance in several years, knocking out Rocky Martinez in two rounds. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Yuriorkis Gamboa had his best performance in several years, knocking out Rocky Martinez in two rounds. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa of Miami (30-2, 18 KOs) says he deserves a shot at Davis after scoring his own second round knockout of Roman “Rocky” Martinez of Puerto Rico (30-4-3, 18 KOs) in the co-main event.

Like Davis, Gamboa also came out strong at the opening bell pressing the action. At the start of the second round, Gamboa dropped Martinez with a left hook. Martinez beat the count, but Gamboa was not about to let him off the hook. He scored a second knockdown with another left hook. This time, Martinez could not get up before referee Bill Clancy counted him out.

“It’s genetics.  I have explosive power, I have speed,” Gamboa, who is now 37. “Even at this age, I still have it. I put my work in the gym.  I prepared well for this fight and it showed tonight.

“When I punched him with my left I knew he was not going to be able to withstand the power of both of my hands.  I tried not to suffocate him because I knew he was hurt. I wanted a victory tonight so I can face Gervonta Davis next,” said Gamboa.”That’s what I want.”

Miller gets a gift split decision over Corrales

Ladarius “Memphis” Miller of Las Vegas (20-1, 6 KOs) barely escaped with a split decision win against a tougher than expected Jezzrel Corrales of Panama (23-3, 9 KOs). Scores were 96-93 and 95-94 for Miller, and 96-93 for Corrales.

The difference was a headscratching penalty taken referee Brent Brovell in the last minute of the fight. Miller threw Corrales to the ground, but Brovell took the point from Corrales, who had been warned earlier for rabbit punching and low blows. Had there not been a point taken, Corrales would have won the round on all three scorecards and the fight would have been a draw.

“I’m not happy with the decision,” Corrales said.  “I don’t think it was fair to give Miller the victory.  The fans here in the arena told me I won the fight.  I know I won the fight.”

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.

Copyright © 2019 by Falcon Valley Group

 

 

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.