By: Hans Themistode
Even with the sting of his first career defeat taking place over nine months ago, Jose Ramirez still remembers it like it was yesterday. Not only did the 29-year-old taste the canvas on more than one occasion against Josh Taylor during their May of 2021 super lightweight unification, he was also forced to sit back and accept that he fought a man who was simply better than him.
With Ramirez still incensed by how things ultimately played out, the former 140 pound unified champion took out his frustrations on Jose Pedraza.
In front of a mostly pro-Ramirez crowd at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California, Ramirez melted the former multiple division champion with his relentless pressure.
Once the opening bell rang, Ramirez stormed to the center of the ring and stuck his jab directly into the chest of his man. Pedraza was immediately pushed halfway across the ring but seemed unfazed by Ramirez’s opening shot.
Ramirez bobbed and weaved while stalking forward in the early goings. Once he was in range, it was bombs away. Seemingly caught off guard, Pedraza mostly shelled up and allowed the blows of his man to bounce off his gloves harmlessly.
With Ramirez coming forward for much of the round, he continued his assault in the second. Pedraza pranced around the ring while attempting to play matador to Ramirez’s bull.
Defensively, Pedraza was sharp but he simply couldn’t get his offense going throughout the first two rounds. In the third, Ramirez found Pedraza a difficult target to pin down, so instead, he focused his attack on the midsection. The former unified champion landed plenty of shots downstairs while continuing to move forward.
As the halfway point of their contest came rolling by, Ramirez slowed down just enough for Pedraza to find his rhythm. He blasted Ramirez while laying against the ropes and controlled the distance for much of the middle portions of their fight.
Despite stringing together several rounds, Ramirez turned it on during the second half of their contest. Much like the earlier rounds, Ramirez and his relentless pressure got the better of Pedraza. A hard right hand in the ninth round shook Pedraza to his very core. Moments later, his right eye began swelling.
In the tenth, Pedraza fought much more defensively. Although he refused to engage, Ramirez kept his pressure going. He pushed Pedraza back time and time again while landing thudding shots.
With Pedraza seemingly down on the judge’s scorecards heading into the 12th and final round, he came out guns blazing in the final three minutes. He blasted Ramirez against the ropes which forced him to take a step back. Still, even with Pedraza starting strong, Ramirez closed the show. He landed several unanswered shots in the final minute of their contest. Also, in the waning seconds, Ramirez tagged Pedraza with hard blows until the final seconds ticked off the clock.
In the end, Ramirez and his hometown crowd were left smiling profusely as he was handed a fairly close unanimous decision. All three judges scoring the bout viewed their contest the same, handing in identical scorecards of 116-112 in favor of Ramirez.
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