COSTA MESA, CALIF.-Home cooking can be a very good thing.
Luis Ramos (20-0, 9 KOs) used the hometown crowd to inspire him past Oxnard’s hard charging David Rodela (15-5-3, 6 KOs) and in the co-main event Ronny Rios grabbed a puzzling unanimous decision over veteran contender Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez.
The home crowd pumped up left-handed Ramos from the opening bell.
Ramos controlled the fight with constant pressure against Rodela who seemed to be off target for the first three rounds and reaching. Combination punching by the Orange County fighter was pinpoint.
Rodela’s best round began in the third as he countered with some stiff lead rights that grabbed Ramos’ attention. The Ventura-based fighter smiled and raised his hand to show he had his best round.
“It was my toughest fight,” Ramos said of fighting Rodela.
Both fighters were expected to fight back in August so they knew what to expect inside the ring. Ramos seemed to be the quicker fighter but Rodela was not stepping back. In round five a left to Rodela’s body dropped the Oxnard fighter for the knockout at 1:57 of round five.
“My trainer Hector Lopez told me what to do and I did it,” said Ramos. “It was a jab and a left hand to the body and it landed on the dot.”
Rios vs. Gonzalez
In the co-main event the young undefeated Rios (16-0, 8 KOs) discovered what it means to move to the next level when he faced Gonzalez (27-5, 18 KOs) who was called in to fight the Orange County featherweight this week.
Rios attacked the body aggressively the first two rounds while Gonzalez picked some off with his elbows and occasionally countered with some withering combinations. It was obvious Gonzalez was the heavier puncher.
Gonzalez landed some big shots through Rios’ guard in round three as both banged away in close. It seemed Gonzalez found a better rhythm and a way to pierce Rios defense and won the round.
A 10-punch combo by Gonzalez forced Rios to hold and later a counter right uppercut scored for the Chino-based fighter. Rios tried to rally but was met by another 10-punch combo.
In the fifth round Gonzalez took the fight outside and began fighting with his hands down inviting Rios to attack. Rios seemed more hesitant in this round than any other. Gonzalez speed forced Rios backwards.
Round six and seven saw Rios moving backward for the first time in the fight. Gonzalez picked his spots and fired 10-punch combinations that put Rios in defense mode. Some withering shots by Gonzalez sparked the crowd. But Rios was not looking to cover up and resumed his attack to the body.
Rios burrowed in during the eighth and final round not going to depend on the judges. Gonzalez was calm and fired several speedy combinations that he had shown all through the fight.
When the scores were read there was a puzzling look on those on press row as Rios was declared the winner 80-72 by judge Fritz Werner, 78-74 by David Denkin and Fernando Villarreal. The majority in press row saw it 77-75 Gonzalez.
Home cooking can do that sometimes.
L.A. junior middleweight Brandon Adams (3-0) won by unanimous decision over Fontana’s John Worthy making his pro debut.
Laguna Beach’s Bobby Chavez (3-2) beat Sacramento’s Nick Balestra by decision.
Santa Ana’s Jose Chavez (6-2, 3 KOs) scored a technical knockout over Bakersfield’s Christian Gonzalez (3-3) in round one.
L.A. heavyweight Andrae Carthron scored a third round technical knockout over Big Bear’s Tyree Ortiz (5-1, 4 KOs).
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV