OXNARD-Crystal Morales stepped up in class and won a split-decision against veteran Gloria Ramirez at the Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Morales used a steady body attack and fired more combinations against Ramirez who retaliated with stinging uppercuts on the inside in the six round lightweight bout.

The judges scored it 58-56 twice for Morales and 58-56 for Ramirez.

“I could have done more but I learned a lot from fighting her. She has a lot of experience,” said Morales (6-4-1), who was appearing in front of her hometown crowd for the first time. “Being in the main event was so exciting for me too.”

Ramirez (9-15-6) and Morales started the six round bout rather slowly with the New Mexico native landed more frequently. But in the second round Oxnard’s Morales stepped up the pace and found a decent rhythm.

“My corner was telling me to throw straighter punches or I wasn’t going to hit her,” Morales said. “She was a tough fighter and kind of dirty but that’s ok.”

Ramirez preferred fighting inside and used the tight quarters to score repeatedly with the uppercut. Morales worked better from the outside with her straight right hand that seldom missed.

“I love a challenge,” Morales says. “If you tell me I can’t do it than I’m going to try and prove you wrong.”

Ramirez was disappointed by the scores. She’s fought some pretty hefty opposition and never seemed hurt. But a lack of punching during several rounds probably hurt her in the end.

In other bouts two young fighters look pretty promising.

A junior featherweight battle between San Diego’s Chris Martin (5-0-1) and Hanford’s Daniel Quevedo (4-4-2) ended in a split draw decision. Martin used his slick boxing skills and accurate jab to keep the hard-hitting Quevedo from landing the money shot. At the end of six rounds judge David Denkin scored it 58-56 for Quevedo, judge David Mendoza scored it 58-56 for Martin and judge Gwen Adair had it 57-57 even. There were no knockdowns.

Martin had pretty impressive skills for a boxer with only five pro fights. His opponent Quevedo is a known slugger who has power in either hand. Martin handled him pretty well and his ability to roll with punches kept him from sustaining any serious hurt.

Chihuahua’s Brian Ramirez (2-2, 2 KOs) caught Santa Cruz’s Guadalupe Perez (1-2) with a lead right hand that floored him. After that, a nine-punch outburst punctuated with another strong right knocked down Perez at 56 seconds of the first round of a lightweight bout. Referee David Mendoza immediately stopped the bout.

Ramirez is managed by WBO welterweight titleholder Antonio Margarito and is trained by Javier Capetillo who also trains Margarito. The Chihuahua native has quick and heavy hands. He often spars with another gem of a prospect named John Molina. Ramirez has battles with Molina regularly. Like Molina, Ramirez’s opponent usually don’t last more than three rounds of their punishing blows.

In a junior bantamweight contest Alex Mercado (1-0) of Las Vegas needed 1:11 to find Poland’s Grzegorz Dziubek (1-1). The Polish fighter ran into a right hand that wobbled him and allowed the tall Mercado to unleash a nine-punch barrage. Dziubek went down from a right hand and referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight at 1:11 of the first round.

Mercado is very tall for a junior featherweight and boxes like a young version of Juan Manuel Marquez. Look out for this Las Vegas boxer.

Tonik Utidzhyan (1-0) out of La Crescenta scored a four-round unanimous decision win over Sacramento’s Eduardo Betance (0-7) in a bantamweight bout. The judges scored it 40-36.

Oxnard’s Kristian Magallon (2-1) over-powered Palmdale’s Mark Childers (0-2) at 2:05 of the second round in a bantamweight contest. Referee Lou Moret stopped the contest after Magallon pummeled Childers in the corner.