by Cliff Rold
32-year old Featherweight Oscar Gonzalez (21-2, 14 KO) of Mexico City, Mexico, bounced back from a loss in his last outing to score unanimous decision in a mild upset over 25-year old former WBA Super Bantamweight titlist Rico Ramos (21-3, 11 KO) of Watts, California, on Friday night at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington. It was Gonzalez’s second career win over a former major titlist, having bested former 108 lb. titlist Roberto Vazquez on points in 2011.
Ramos came into the bout at 125 ½, Gonzalez at 124 ½. The referee was Bobby Howard.
Gonzalez followed a circling and retreating Ramos around the ring for much of the first two rounds. Occasionally, one or the other would land something but the bout was marked more by the pursuit of tactical advantage in the early going.
Catching Ramos near the ropes for a moment in round three, Gonzalez got the crowd to react to a spattering of entertaining offense. Ramos got away and returned to circling the perimeter. Gonzalez was trying to make a fight but a deficit in hand and foot speed made it hard to sustain any extended effort.
As the boos cascaded from the crowd, the fight settled into a pattern, rounds melting into each other repetitively. When the gaps were closed, each would dig a couple to the ribs and Gonzalez would attempt to make the most of it before Ramos slipped away again.
Gonzalez made the most of it late in round six. A left hook to the body forced Ramos to all fours, Howard counting as Ramos caught his breath and rose from the floor. He made the bell and was back on his bike as round seven got under way. The first time Gonzalez got close, he raked hard with a left downstairs. A burst of offense in the middle of the round appeared enough to favor Gonzalez.
Gonzalez stayed making the fight down the stretch as Ramos struggled to get any offense going and did next to nothing to give the judges a reason to favor him. When it was all over, the one-time titlist had his third loss in four fights and hazy future ahead, Gonzalez receiving earned scores of 98-91, 97-93, and 96-93 for the win.
In a clash of unbeaten Jr. Welterweight novices, 29-year old Ray Lampkin Jr. (3-0, 1 KO), 139, of Vancouver, Washington, stopped 25-year old Landon Horseman (1-1), 139 ½, of Tacoma, Washington, in the third round of an exciting contest. The referee was Bobby Howard.
The action got hot early in round two. Horseman landed a quick right to rock Lampkin and another forced Lampkin to use his glove to keep afoot. When the leather scraped the canvas, Howard tolled the mandatory eight. Lampkin shook it off and stepped into the fray, doing his best to exact revenge while Horseman fired back. Lampkin was getting the better of the exchanges as the crowd roared their approval.
They stayed toe-to-toe in round three and Lampkin took advantage. A left to the body badly hurt Horseman and Lampkin jumped on him right away, whipping a left upstairs before going back to the body. Horseman folded towards the floor in pain, unable to rise before the count of ten as Howard waved the bout closed at 1:48 of round three.
Limpkin is the son of prominent 1970s Lightweight contender Ray Lampkin.
In the televised opener, 23-year old 2012 Mexican Olympian Oscar Molina (4-0, 3 KO), 151, of Norwalk, California, continued his early steps into the Jr. Middleweight waters with a first round walkthrough of 31-year old Daryl Gardner (1-2), 151, of Spokane, Washington. Gardner, wearing the trunks of a fighter who’d been stopped one bout prior off television, shared fates on the night. The sharp Molina flashed solid speed and pop, scoring two knockdowns. The first came on the end of a long right, the second on a devastating left hook. Referee Jeff Macaluso didn’t bother to finish the count, halting the action at 2:39 of round one.
The card was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Goosen Tutor.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]