By Lem Satterfield
ATLANTIC CITY -- Unbeaten Rico Ramos scored the 11th knockout of his career with a left hook to the temple that dropped his rival for a seventh round knockout that dethroned southpaw WBA super bantamweight champion Akifumi "Sugar" Shimoda of Tokyo at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom of Boardwalk Hall.
Although bleeding from a cut over his right eye that was suffered in the fifth round, Ramos shocked Shimoda with the shocking punch, from which his rival rose and stumbled into a neutral corner, where referee Benjy Esteves waved an end to the bout at 2 minutes, 46 seconds of the round.
Although trailing, 59-55, on the cards of Barbara Perez and John Stewart, and, 60-54, on that of George Hill, Ramos rose to 20-0 against Shimoda, who falls to 23-3-1, with 10 knockouts.
Ramos-Shimoda took place on the undercard of a junior middleweight main event featuring a clash of southpaws between Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) and Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs).
In the fifth round of Ramos-Shimoda, Esteves ruled that a clash of heads had caused a nasty cut over the right eye of Ramos that poured blood, and the HBO television replays confirmed his assertion.
Esteves also warned Shimoda for firing low blows during each of the sixth and seventh rounds, where an apparently fading Ramos began to clutch and hold the relently oncoming champion.
Shimoda out-landed Ramos, 105-to-80 overall, with a 95-to-60 advantage in power punches. Ramos out-landed Shimoda, 20-10, in jabs.
"I was throwing right hands a lot, hitting his body, but then, I surprised him with the left hand. I was behind on the cards, but after the fifth round, I started my comeback," said the 24-year-old Ramos.
"The first five rounds he was frustrating me, and I knew that I couldn't allow that to happen," said Ramos. "I wasn't looking for a knockout. I just knew that I had to move forward and carry the fight. I've been waiting for this moment for 16 years. I've worked hard, and I'm happy with my victory."