By: Sergio Luis Martinez, Ringside
Tonight, live at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas, and televised on the “Solo Boxeo” fight series, Top Rank presented a six fight card featuring several of the promotional giant’s young guns looking to move up in the boxing ladder. The event featured Dallas, Texas lightweight and former title challenger Roberto Marroquin, former 2012 United States Olympian Jose Ramirez, and world rated Mexican middle weight, Gilberto Ramirez. There was plenty of excitement and here is how it all went down.
The opening fight of the night showcased undefeated featherweight Jerren “Hard Knocks” Cochran (9-0-0 with 4 KOs) taking on Nicaraguan journeyman Sergio Gomez (17-18-0 with 13 KOs). The fight was slated for six rounds. In the opening round, Cochran peppered Gomez with jabs and utilized movement to keep the Nicaraguan off-balance. “Hard Knocks” was able to rake Gomez with several hard, straight right hands. Things heated up in the second round as Gomez found a home for his left hook and managed to stun his undefeated foe. The fight quickly turned into a war of attrition as Gomez rushed Cochran with both fighters letting their hands go, landing punches at will. Cochran asserted himself in the fourth with sold left hooks to both face and body. “Hard Knocks” also employed a stiff jab that kept Gomez at bay. The fifth round saw Gomez catch a second wind as he recklessly attacked, landing hard overhand rights that hurt Cochran. Cochran steadied himself towards the end of the round and ended the fifth stanza with a flurry. The sixth round was a microcosm of the fight: Gomez attacked and Cochran picked his spots to counter. The round was ultimately defined by Cochran’s left hook-right hand combination. In the end, Cochran improved to 10-0 with a unanimous decision victory by scores of 60-54 (twice) and 59-55.
The second fight of the night featured undefeated welterweight Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo (11-0-0 with 8 KOs) taking on Mexican trial horse Francisco “La Pantera” Reza (12-9-0 with 9 KOs) over six rounds. Saucedo, all of 19 years of age, blitzed Reza, landing left hook bombs to both the head and body. Midway through the first round, “El Cholo” landed a vicious left-right combination that floored “La Pantera.” Reza beat the count but was quickly smashed by a devastating left hook that sent the Mexican reeling towards the ropes in bad condition. The referee immediately jumped in and called a halt to the contest 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the first round. With the win, Saucedo improved to 11-0 with 9 KOs. “El Cholo” showed some fast hands and solid power; he appears to be an exciting young prospect on the rise.
Looking for a comeback, Dallas, Texas native Roberto Marroquin (23-3-0 with 16 KOs) stepped into the squared circle looking to make a statement against Mexican veteran Alejandro “Soma” Rodriguez (18-13-0 with 11 KOs). The contest was scheduled for eight rounds. Marroquin came out of the gate slowly and Rodriguez did no better; both fighters spent the majority of the first round using their jabs as range-finders. Things heated up in the second as Marroquin upped his aggression, firing three punch combinations but Rodriguez was able to stand his ground and landed a couple of solid overhand rights. “Soma” closed the round with a solid left-right combination. In the third, the Mexican banger pressed the action early, landing to the head and body of Marroquin. Sensing that the round was getting away from him, the Texan began to charge in behind solid jabs. Rodriguez was able to stand his ground and countered with vicious upper cuts that snapped Marroquin’s head back. With the fight slipping away, Marroquin stabilized his attack in the fourth round, simply outworking Rodriguez over the course of the three minutes. Marroquin finished the round with a powerful left-right combination.
“Soma” set a furious pace in the fifth as he landed heavy uppercuts that caused serious damage to Marroquin’s face, cutting the Texan and swelling his eyes. Marroquin attempted to stunt Rodriguez’s momentum but could not find his range and got caught with vicious counters. By the end of the round, Marroquin’s face was a bloody mess. With the chance of victory fading fast, Marroquin unleashed a fury of punches in the opening of round six that sent “Soma” into the ropes. Marroquin followed up with more combinations but was not able to put the Mexican down for the count. Rodriguez managed to regain his composure and roared back, landing vicious body shots and uppercuts that hurt the Texan. By the time the round ended, “Soma” was back in control.
The seventh round featured clinching and sloppy boxing as both combatants were visibly tired and arm-weary. Although it was close, the round appeared to belong to Rodriguez as he landed the more telling blows. With his career possibly slipping away, Marroquin continued to press the action in the final round but was often caught with hard counters that further distorted his facial features. “Soma” continued to land hard right uppercuts at will which further bloodied Marroquin’s nose. Rodriguez had an answer for everything that Marroquin threw and closed the show by landing several hard combinations. The fight was scored a draw (scores: 76-76). For the record, Boxing Insider scored the fight 79-73 in favor of Rodriguez. This is not the first time that the promoter’s fighter benefits from the politics of boxing.
McAllen, Texas lightweight Angel Hernandez (7-1-0 with 3 KOs) took on Laredo’s own Eddie Ramirez (6-14-1 with 3 KOs). The tilt was set for four rounds. Both fighters came out of the gate and set a torrid pace, throwing defense out of the window. Ramirez focused his attack to the body while Hernandez shot at the head. The round was fought in the proverbial phone booth with both fighters having their moments. The pace continued in the second; neither fighter was willing to take a backward step and tried to impose their will on each other. Although Ramirez had his moments early, Hernandez seized the round, closing strong with hard punches that rocked the hometown fighter. Hernandez continued to assert himself in the opening minute of the third, landing looping shots to both the head and body of Ramirez. Ramirez was able to land a few punches but was not able to get Hernandez to back off. In the final minute of the round, Hernandez landed a vicious shot that caught Ramirez and sent him whirling to the ropes. Hernandez moved in for the kill and delivered a nonstop barrage of punches which prompted the referee to step in and stop the fight. The official time of the stoppage was 2 minutes and 10 seconds of the round.
The televised portion of event began with the co-main event featuring former 2012 United States Olympian Jose Ramirez (7-0-0 with 5 KOs) taking on Floridian Javier “Little Beast” Perez (8-6-0 with 5 KOs). The fight was schedule for six rounds in the lightweight division. Ramirez opened the first round with plenty of upper body movement and a measured attack mostly focused on Perez’s body. As the round progressed, the former U.S. Olympian began to regularly land to the face and body of his outmatched opponent. Halfway through the round, Ramirez landed a crushing counter left hook that severely hurt Perez. Ramirez moved in with a flurry of punches that sent his opponent to the canvas. Perez came to his feet at the count of ten but was in no condition to continue; the referee called a halt to the fight. The official time was 2 minutes and 32 seconds of the opening round, with Ramirez adding a technical knockout victory to his undefeated record.
The main event of the evening showcased undefeated Mexican world rated middleweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (26-0-0 with 20 KOs) taking on tough Texan banger “Dangerous” Don Mouton (12-7-1 with 10 KOs). Mouton charged out of the corner in the first round looking to close the distance against the taller and rangier Ramirez. Ramirez, using lateral movement, calmly kept Mouton at bay and stuck a stiff right jab in his face. The fight quickly turned, as Ramirez turned Mouton into the ropes and unleashed a right-left-right combination that floored Mouton, causing him to fall through the ropes. Somehow, the game Texan got back into the ring but seemed hazed. “Zurdo” followed up with a barrage of punches which floored Mouton again. The referee called a stop to the fight at 1 minute and 23 seconds of the first round. It was a sensational win for the young Mexican banger.
In the end, fight fans were treated to a great night of boxing and witnessed some great prospects and budding contenders in action. Time will only tell if Top Rank’s young guns will rule the boxing world in the near future but it is going to be fun to watch them raise.
Follow Sergio Luis Martinez on twitter @srgmrtnz