By Ryan Burton
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas - Puerto Rican knockout artist Angel Acosta (9-0 9 KOs) stopped Victor Ruiz (17-4) at the :01 mark of the 6th round of their junior flyweight bout. Acosta is promoted by Miguel Cotto.
Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez notched his 4th victory of the year to move his record to a perfect 30-0 with a knockout victory over Fulgencio Zuniga (27-10-1). The stoppage came in the 8th round.
Ramirez, a native of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, México, started out fast, using his reach advantage to control the distance. Every time Zuniga tried to move inside, he would get countered.
Standing at nearly 6'3", Ramirez towered over the 5'10" Zuniga. As the fight progressed, Ramirez landed more and more solid punches as it quickly became evident that it would only be a matter of time before Ramirez would finish him. Zuniga's glove appeared to hit the ground after he was hit with a hard body shot in the 6th round but the referee didn't rule it a knockdown. Zurdo stunned him again at the end of the 7th round. Zuniga was getting hammered again in the 8th and Ramirez landed a series of shots late in the round which prompted the referee to stop the fight at the :40 mark.
Ramirez's promoter Bob Arum was unsuccessful in making a fight between WBA/IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, with whom he is embroiled in a legal dispute. The Hall of Fame promoter has recently said that he would instead like to match Ramirez against Froch.
Blue chip super featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez (13-0) made his HBO debut successful by defeating Alberto Garza (26-9-1) via 7th round knockout.
Valdez was coming off a layoff of nearly four months which is the longest of his blossoming career. He showed some rust in the first round but quickly shook it off and landed some big shots in the 2nd.
Valdez dominated throughout the entire fight but Garza had a hell of a chin and didn't appear to be seriously hurt until the 6th round when Valdez wobbled him with a series of punches. Valdez hurt him again in the seventh, causing the referee to waive the fight off with Garza still standing on his feet. Garza wasn't throwing any punches and wasn't defending himself. The time of the stoppage was 1:29.
Local favorite Ivan Najera (15-0) pleased his hometown fans by defeating Luis Cervantes (7-9-3) in their lightweight battle. Cervantes had his moments but Najera simply was too strong for him. Najera poured it on in the final round and stunned Cervantes several times. The final scores were 78-74, 79-73, and 77-75.
In battle between Texans, lightweight prospect Casey Ramos (19-0) stayed undefeated by outpointing Manuel Rojas (9-2). The final scores were 80-72 twice and 79-73.
2012 Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk (4-0) took another step forward in his pro career by defeating Otis "Triple OG" Griffin (24-18-2) by TKO. A left hook to the body early in the 6th round dropped Griffin to a knee. Moments later another body shot dropped Griffin again, prompting Griffin's corner to throw in the towel. The time of the stoppage was 1:51. Griffin is Gvozdyk's most experienced opponent to date.
In the evening's opening fight, Janiel Rivera (12-2-1) and Felipe Rivas (15-16-4) battled to a split draw. Rivera was attempting to win his third fight in a row since coming up short against former WBC junior flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez. Rivas took the fight to Rivera and proved to be a game opponent. The final tallies were 79-73 for Rivas, 77-75 for Rivera and 76-76. Rivera is promoted by Miguel Cotto.