Rico Ramos landed the crisper, cleaner shots en route to a hard fought unanimous decision over fellow super bantamweight Alejandro Valdez, scored 97-93 two times and 98-92. In the fleeting super middleweight co-feature, a rebounding Don “Da Bomb” George pummeled Cornelius “Da Heat” White before referee Randy Newman declared the fight a TKO in the first round on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME.
Ramos, 19-0(10 KOs), has all the tools to make the transition from prospect to contender: speed, footwork, determination. What the Los Angeles-based fighter needs now is experience against tougher opposition. Friday night’s ShoBox bout against Valdez (24-5-2, 17 KOs), proved to be just that. Ramos fought a tough battle against the taller Mexican but he was unable to assert his dominance and superior boxing skills as he has done to past opponents. In a close fight that saw its share of head butts, Ramos consistently landed more flush shots while Valdez, unphased by Ramos’ unbeaten record, stuck to his game plan and kept coming forward to throw his long, awkward punches.
Heading into the 10th round, the fighters came out swinging to signify that they both had a shot at winning the fight. The men stood toe-to-toe and exchanged a barrage of punches that brought the Atlantic City crowd to its feet. After being temporarily slowed by a head butt, Ramos emerged with blood spilling from his eye and finished the fight like the champion he’d like to be.
Said Ramos, “After that head butt, I had to come back because I didn’t want it to dictate my fight.”
More important than earning his nineteenth straight victory, Ramos learned a valuable lesson in the rigors of facing championship level opposition. Valdez, a former title challenger several times over, proved to be Ramos’ toughest test to date and a welcomed addition to Ramos’ fight resume.
“It was tough. I didn’t think it would be this tough,” said Ramos. “There were a lot of head butts and holds but I’ve got no complaints.”
Despite dropping the decision, Valdez said after the bout, “I exposed that [Ramos] is still very green and protected.”
After suffering a brutal first career loss in his last outing, George (21-1-1, 17 KOs), of Chicago, came out determined to expose the unbeaten but untested White (16-1, 15 KOs). Taking only a minute to feel out his opponent, George pushed the action and knocked down White with a textbook one-two punch. Houston’s White, 29, got back up but never got back in the fight. George, 26, sensed that White was dazed and unloaded rapid fire punches until White hit the canvas a second time. At 2:02 in the first round, Newman had seen enough and stopped the contest to hand White his first loss.
After the fight, an ecstatic George exclaimed, “I’m back. Some people are pretty upset out there because I was paid to lose. They thought I was an opponent.
“I feel great. I’ll fight for SHOWTIME again next week, if they want.”
Tonight’s action was promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions and sponsored by Corona. The telecast will be available on SHOWTIME On Demand beginning Feb. 14 through Feb. 27.
Curt Menefee called the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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