INDIO-Ronny Rios walked in behind a stiff jab to dominate former world champion Rico Ramos and capture the NABF featherweight title on Friday. It was a clear-cut victory at the Fantasy Springs Casino as Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya looked on at his prodigy.
Rios (20-0, 9 Kos) started quickly behind his stiff and accurate jab for the first four rounds. Every so often the Orange County fighter would mix in an overhand right to the body and to the head. It took Ramos ( 21-2, 11 Kos) about three rounds to finally get a rhythm against the peek a boo style of Rios. It was far too long to get unraveled.
“He kept running into my left jab,” said Rios, 22. “He’s a counter-puncher and I made him go forward.”
After trying to muscle his way inside in the fourth with little success, Ramos then began to send come rocketing combinations, including a sizzling left hook that connected. Rios was unfazed that the combination did score and the fifth round was Ramos' best round.
Rios turned it up a notch in round six with some pounding body shots that got Ramos' attention. The former champion danced out of danger then ran into a stiff jab and left hook to the head. Rios again attacked the body to finish the round.
Ramos had two good rounds in the seventh and eighth as things slowed a bit and that seemed to favor the more mobile fighter. Rios continued to move in behind the jab but Ramos found a couple of combos that scored.
Behind some thunderous body shots Rios was able to connect with clean left hooks to the head as Ramos looked to protect his mid-frame in round nine. And when the head opened up, Rios unloaded an overhand right that caught the attention of the crowd. Ramos tried to counter but ran into a stiff jab that jolted his head back.
“My game plan was to put pressure and more pressure,” said Rios, who sparred with Mikey Garcia in Riverside for preparation. “I still don’t think I put on enough pressure.”
The final round saw Ramos attack more but the two ended up choking off each other’s attacks by smothering themselves in too close. Though both fired blows none proved too lethal. All three judges scored the fight in favor of Rios, 100-93, 97-93, 96-94.
“In time I’m going to improve a lot more,” said Rios.
Coachella’s Randy Caballero (18-0, 10 Kos) knocked out Luis Maldonado (38-10-1, 29 Kos) of Mexico, a former world title challenger who had faced Vic Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire. The knockout came in the fourth round.
Florida’s Daquan Arnett (10-0, 6 Kos) handed Virginia’s Brandon Quarles (9-1-1) his first pro loss in a 10 round junior middleweight contest. Though the fight began in exciting fashion, after two rounds both became entangled throughout the rest of the match. The fans were not pleased by the lack of action. After 10 rounds Arnett was ruled the winner by unanimous decision 78-73, 77-74, 76-75.
Former U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale (3-0, 3 Kos) scored his third consecutive knockout win, this time against Michigan’s Caleb Grummet (3-3-1) in the second round. The much bigger Breazeale had an easy time against Grummet who was at least five inches shorter.
Montebello’s Santiago Guevara (5-0, 3 Kos) blasted through Tijuana’s Juan Zuniga (4-9-1) with several knockdowns before stopping him at 59 seconds of round three. A left hook to the body ended the fight as Zuniga collapsed from the blow and referee Ray Corona immediately stopped the fight. It was the third knockdown of the fight.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV