Top Rank on ESPN: Valdez and Ramirez Overcome Tough Opponents

Top Rank Boxing was at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona and on ESPN this past Friday night with a full card of fights headlined by two world title bouts. In the featured attractions, WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez and WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez successfully defended their belts via unanimous decisions but both survived anxious moments in tough fights with opponents that hadn’t previously tasted defeat at the professional level.

This was a homecoming for Valdez, now 23-0, who spent his teen years in Nogales, Mexico (73 miles south of Tucson) but attended elementary school in the Arizona city. His opponent, Genesis Servania, a Filipino currently residing in Japan, was 29-0 going in but was making his first start outside the Orient. He proved to be as tough as nails and although Valdez won comfortably on the scorecards (116-110, 117-109, and 119-111), he made the two-time Olympian earn his pay.

The Filipino scored a flash knockdown in round 4, scoring with an overhand right, but Valdez returned the favor in the next round, knocking Servania down hard with a left hook. Servania looked in bad shape when he arose, but by the end of the round was giving as good as he got. His herky-jerky style led to a lot of wasted motion, but he was well-conditioned and had no trouble lasting the distance.

Ramirez improved to 36-0, turning away Jesse Hart, now 22-1, on scores of 115-112 twice, and 114-113. “Zurdo” knocked Hart down with a right hand in round 2 and won the fourth round so decisively that it appeared that Hart was a cooked goose. But the Philadelphian fought his way back into the fight and rocked Ramirez with some hard uppercuts in the ensuing rounds. Ramirez has forged 24 knockouts in his 36 outings, but each of his last six fights has gone the distance.

The televised portion of the show was slated to begin at 10:30 pm EST following the Cubs-Brewers game, but the game went extra innings and didn’t end until 11:42 pm. Compounding matters for Top Rank, the boxing show went head-to-head with the Arizona-Utah college football game at nearby U of A Stadium.

Other Bouts
126 LBS 6 RDS: Michael Conlan def Kenny Guzman via TKO in RD 2 @2:59.
147 LBS 10 RDS: Egidijus Kavaliauskas def Mahonry Montes via TKO in RD 7 @0:34.
147 LBS 8 RDS: Leonardo Zappavigna def Fidel Monterrosa Munoz via TKO in RD 3 @2:48.
135 LBS 8 RDS: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov def Victor Rosas via UD (80-72,80-72,80-72)
130 LBS 8 RDS: Robson Conceicao def Carlos Osorio via RTD after 3 RDS.

135 lbs 4×2 RDS: Mikaela Mayer def Allison Martinez via TKO in RD 3 @0:39.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

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Ramirez vs Hart Results and More – TR on ESPN / Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.