Angel Ruiz overcame several low blows to knock off an unbeaten opponent Thursday night in West Point, New York.
Ruiz knocked down Bobirzhan Mominov twice, once apiece in the fifth and seventh rounds, and benefited from a point deduction for a low blow in the fifth round to beat Mominov by unanimous decision in their eight-round welterweight fight. The left-handed Ruiz (17-1, 12 KOs) won on the cards of judges Ken Ezzo (76-73), Eric Marlinski (76-73) and Jim Pierce (75-74) to bounce back from a knockout defeat in his previous fight.
Kazakhstan’s Mominov slipped to 12-1 (8 KOs).
Ruiz’s win was the second of three bouts broadcast by NBC Sports Network as part of its “Ring City USA” series from the United States Military Academy.
Tijuana’s Ruiz was knocked out by Puerto Rico’s Javier Flores (15-3, 13 KOs, 1 NC) in the second round of his previous bout. He hadn’t fought since suffering that loss in October 2019 in Ontario, California.
Sensing he was down on the cards, Mominov went after Ruiz throughout the eighth and final round. He landed short shots inside in those final three minutes, yet nothing that hurt Ruiz.
An overhand left by Ruiz sent Mominov to the canvas with 2:07 to go in the seventh round. That marked the second knockdown for Ruiz in the fight.
Mominov got up quickly from the seat of his trunks and made the remainder of the seventh round competitive.
After suffering a knockdown in the fifth round, Mominov came back to out-land Ruiz during the sixth round. Mominov landed several flush right hands in that round.
A left uppercut by Ruiz knocked Mominov off balance early in the fifth round. A left hook by Mominov made Ruiz move away from him with just over 1:10 left in the fifth round.
Mominov landed yet another low blow that caused referee Charlie Fitch to deduct a point from him with 46 seconds to go in that round. Fitch had warned Mominov in two previous rounds before taking away a point.
Ruiz needed more time to recover from that low right hand than the two prior unintentional fouls.
After taking a couple minutes to recover, Ruiz drilled Mominov with a sweeping left hand that knocked him flat on his back with 39 seconds to go in the fifth round. Mominov got up quickly and he made it to the end of the fifth round.
Mominov’s counter right connected with 35 seconds left in the fourth round.
Mominov landed a left hook just before the halfway point of the third round. A right-left combination and a left hook to the body from Mominov all landed with just over a minute remaining in the third round.
A straight left by Ruiz backed Mominov into the ropes with just over two minutes to go in the second round. Fitch warned Mominov for another low blow with about 1:45 remaining in the second round.
Mominov’s right hand landed barely 35 seconds into the first round. A short, left hook by Mominov connected with just over 30 seconds to go in the first round.
Fitch warned Mominov for landing a low right hand toward the end of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.