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Joel Diaz Jr.-Rico Ramos Triumph – EL MONTE, CALIF.-A couple of Southern California contenders returned to home turf as Joel Diaz Jr. won by knockout and Rico Ramos cruised to victory in their respective bouts on Saturday.

An international fight card showed its depth before a crowd of more than 1,000 at the Los Angeles Badminton Club in El Monte. The Bash Promotion lineup featured pro boxers from Brazil, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Ghana, Nigeria, Mexico and of course the U.S.

Joel Diaz Jr. returned to his Southern California roots and dominated the hard-hitting Joaquim Cordero (23-9) of Brazil every round until the third round of the super lightweight clash. While in the corner, it was decided that Cordero could not continue.

Diaz (22-0, 18 KOs) was formerly trained by Abel Sanchez but now trains with former heavyweight world champion Chris Byrd.  Under Byrd, the Palmdale slugger has become more defensive-minded and showed patience in his attack. Still, his power beat down Cordero who was bloodied in the first round.

In a featherweight bout, former WBA World super bantamweight champion Rico Ramos (25-5) knocked down Justin Savi (28-6-2) in the first round and cruised the rest of the way. Now training in San Bernardino, Ramos was simply the sharper boxer and won by unanimous decision after eight rounds. Two judges scored it 79-72 and another 77-74 for Ramos.

A 10-round super welterweight fight saw Lithuania’s Virgilijus Stapulionis (27-3-1) survive a fifth round knockdown from Jamaica’s Nathaniel Gallimore and rally the rest of the way to win by split decision. Gallimore was in control the first half of the fight but took his foot off the gas pedal and allowed Stapulionis back into the fight. It proved to be Gallimore’s undoing. One judge saw Gallimore winning 97-92, but two others saw Stapulionis winning at 96-93 twice.

Pomona’s David Lopez (2-0) defeated Ventura’s Rasheed Lawal (1-3-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds of a super welterweight match.

Burbank’s Damien Lopez (1-0) won his pro debut against rugged Jose Mejia (1-6) at 1:48 of round two. Lopez battered Mejia throughout the fight until the Santa Paula, California fighter’s corner asked the referee to stop the fight.

Jesse Martinez (4-0) defeated Tavorus Teague (3-12-2) in a close welterweight match by decision.

Madiyar Ashkeyev (3-0) won by knockout of Hector Mercado (2-7) at 2:36 of the sixth and final round. Mercado was never floored but referee Zach Young saw enough damage and halted the super welterweight scrap.

Eddie Diaz (2-4-2) finally broke into the win column after back-to-back draws to win by majority decision over Hollywood’s Mike Melikian (1-1) after four rounds of a welterweight match up.

Enrico Gogokhia (1-0) won his pro debut by knockout over Steven McKinney (1-8) at 2:34 of the second round of their junior middleweight fight. A counter left proved the magic blow.

Joel Diaz Jr.-Rico Ramos Triumph

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