By: Matthew N. Becher
Top Rank promotions brought its monthly boxing card live on TruTv from The Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Las Vegas to showcase a couple of its young prospects in a huge fight weekend in Sin City, the night before Canelo Alvarez is to take on Miguel Cotto. The televised event was full of some of the best fighters in the world, not only being announced by WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. and Hall of Famer Ray “Boom” Mancini, but also in the crowd and interviewed were Nonito Donaire, Felix Verdejo, Sergey Kovalev and Terrence Crawford.
Saul Rodriguez (18-0-1 13KO) v. Ivan Najera (16-1 8KO): Lightweight
Najera comes out as the bigger man rehydrated. Rodriguez stayed calm and accurate putting Najera down with a big left hook at the 1 minute mark of the first round. Rodriguez then lived up to his nickname “Kid Dynamite” by swarming Najera with a blistering combination that took Najera out. Very impressive and quick win by Robert Garcia’s young prospect Saul Rodriguez.
Rodriguez TKO1 2:06
Gilberto Ramirez (32-0 24KO) v. Gevorg Khatchikian (23-1 11KO): Super Middleweight
Gilberto Ramirez is ranked in the top three at the 168lb division by the WBC, WBA and IBF. This fight was supposed to be a showcase for a possible title fight in early 2016. Khatchikian, the Dutch fighter, whose only loss to IBF champ James DeGale didn’t come to the US for his first fight in the states to just sit back and be beaten so easy.
Ramirez was the superior fighter, consistently going to the body in the early rounds of the fight, trying to break down the well-built Khatchikian.
Ramirez still resists to use his height advantage, as we have seen in the past, and continues to hunch down to his opponent’s level. Ramirez rarely pumped out a jab, which is much longer than most of his opponents.
Khatchikian continued to try and make the fight dirty, fighting a very un-orthodox style. But the fight was very much a lot of the same. Ramirez the 24 year old, undefeated, ranked fighter, played it safe, which was enough for him to dominate the fight. Khatchikian had no answer for the speed and endurance of Ramirez. Every round was Ramirez working the body, never really trying for the knockout but controlling the tempo and never once putting himself in any danger.
Ramirez UD10 99-91, 100-90, 100-90