ANAHEIM-New Years Eve has an extra punch to it with WBA junior featherweight titleholder Rico “Suave” Ramos defending against Cuba’s swift southpaw Guillermo Rigondeaux, along with a light heavyweight title clash.
Not shrinking to the usual revelries on the last day of the year, Goossen-Tutor Promotions and Don King Productions are toasting the night with pugilism.
Los Angeles raised Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) will test the former Cuban super amateur Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs) on Saturday Dec. 31, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Showtime will televise it and a light heavyweight title bout.
“It’s a great fight in a deep and talented division,” said Chris DeBlasio of Showtime Sports.
The last time Ramos stepped in the ring he fought Japan’s Akifumi Shimoda for the title. For six rounds it looked like the left-handed Japanese fighter was going to win by decision when Ramos suddenly ended the fight with a blistering left hook.
Once again a left-hander will be across the ring looking to topple the current champion and though the Cuban boxer only has eight pro fights, he has supreme confidence.
“He’s a former two-time gold medalist for Cuba with over 400 amateur fights,” said Dan Goossen, president of Goossen-Tutor.
Rigondeaux looked poised and content that the moment is near.
“I’m ready to go,” Rigondeaux said inside the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim. “I’ll be leaving that night as the champion.”
Ramos showed no signs of surprise by the Cuban’s comments.
“I’m going to keep this belt,” said Ramos to the press. “I’m staying undefeated.”
Florida’s Cloud (23-0, 19 KOs), who holds the IBF light heavyweight title, was scheduled to meet Hungary’s undefeated Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs), the former WBO light heavyweight champion and former WBC cruiserweight champion. But rumors that Erdei was pulling out due to an injury surfaced during the press conference.
“Tavoris Cloud is the best light heavyweight in the world,” said King, who promotes Cloud. “Tavoris Cloud is the next Tyson.”
Goossen said they are looking at other various options to fight Cloud for the title should Erdei not be able to fight. Editor Note: Erdei did indeed pull out of the fight, with an injured right hand. It is not clear if Showtime will scrap the card.
Roy Englebrecht fight card results
A jam packed arena saw heavyweight hopeful Alex Flores (7-0, 5 KOs) knock out Kelsey Arnold (4-9) at 2:51 of the first round. The Pomona prizefighter was attacking the body and during a three-punch exchange connected with a ramrod right cross that floored Arnold for the count.
“I was going for that punch,” said Flores, “He was dropping his hand.”
In the semi-main event Lysette Medel (4-1-1) won by unanimous decision against Hollywood’s much taller Yolanda Ezell (1-2) after six rounds of a junior lightweight clash. Medel slipped punches and caught the aggressive Ezell multiple times and fought mostly inside though she had a severe reach and height advantage.
“She surprised me that she fought inside a lot,” said Medel who is trained by Armando Huerta. “I thought I out-boxed her. I caught her coming in and used my counter-punching.”
Ezell, who is trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr., felt she was the winner.
“My trainer said I won,” said Ezell. “I’m going to watch the tape.”
San Diego’s David Barragan won his pro debut by knockout over Chico’s John Ferrari at 23 seconds of round two in a junior middleweight fight. Ferrari was also making his pro debut. Barragan used two left hooks to stop Ferrari against the ropes.
Laguna Beach’s Ronald Gavril won his pro debut by technical knockout of Arizona’s Gilbert Gastanum (0-3-1) at 2:11 of a light heavyweight bout. Gavril walked in with James “Lights Out” Toney and John “Pops Arthur as his corner men.
In the semi-main event San Bernardino’s Tommy Vargas out hustled Fullerton’s Tyler Weathers to win by unanimous decision after three rounds. Vargas suffered a dislocated finger in the first round but after it was reset, he proceeded to use everything possible to win.
Alta Loma’s John Chacon (2-0) submitted San Jacinto’s Phil Nunez (1-1) with a rear naked choke at 1:57 of round three.
Buena Park’s Jason “The Troublemaker” Williams (3-5) used a rear naked choke at 20 seconds into round two to end the night for Riverside’s Gilbert Salinas (4-8).
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV