Abel Ramos brutalized Omar Figueroa Jr. on Saturday night.
Ramos repeatedly hurt Figueroa to his head and body until the former WBC lightweight champion couldn’t take it anymore. Joel Diaz, Figueroa’s trainer, stopped their scheduled 12-round WBA welterweight elimination match after Figueroa took a lot of punishment in the sixth round on the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Chris Arreola undercard at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Ramos (27-4-2, 21 KOs), of Casa Grande, Arizona, became the first fighter to stop Figueroa inside the distance. Before Saturday night, the 31-year-old Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, had lost only a 12-round unanimous decision to WBA welterweight champ Yordenis Ugas.
The 29-year-old Ramos returned to the ring for the first time since Cuba’s Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) beat him by split decision to win the then-vacant WBA world welterweight title September 6 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Figueroa, who employed an awkward style Saturday night, ended a 21-month layoff against Ramos. He hadn’t fought since Ugas beat him in July 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Ramos blasted Figueroa with two right hands after the halfway point of the sixth round. Ramos’ right to Figueroa’s body hurt him badly just before the sixth round ended.
Diaz decided to stop the fight once he saw how hurt Figueroa was when he returned to his corner. Figueroa appeared to have trouble catching his breath before Diaz stopped the fight.
After a rough fourth round, Figueroa came out for the fifth round with a knot beneath his left eye. He still tried to press the action at the start of the fifth round, but Ramos landed the cleaner, harder punches in that round, including multiple right hands in its final minute.
Ramos nailed Figueroa with a right hand 20 seconds into the fourth round. Ramos then turned Figueroa’s head around with another right hand a minute into the fourth round.
A straight right hand by Ramos landed with 1:20 to go in the fourth. He added another one about 10 seconds later, as Figueroa backed against the ropes.
Ramos landed to Figueroa’s head and body as they approached the halfway point of the third round. Figueroa caught Ramos as he lunged in with a right hand later in the third round.
Figueroa landed a left hook and then a right hand about a minute into the second round. Ramos caught Figueroa with a left hook as Figueroa came forward with just over a minute remaining in the second round.
Figueroa caught Ramos with a right hand with about 30 seconds to go in the second round.
Figueroa landed a left hook early in the first round and backed Ramos into the ropes. Ramos connected with two right hands as Figueroa attempted to slip his punches later in the opening round.
Ramos dealt well with Figueroa’s awkwardness in those first three minutes by landing while Figueroa moved his head.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.