John ‘Scrappy Ramirez lived up to every drip of swagger he brought into the ring.
The unbeaten junior bantamweight prospect delivered an instant Knockout of the Year contender after blasting out Jan Salvatierra inside of a round. A straight right hand sent Salvatierra through the ropes, with the Mexican boxer climbing back into the ring only for the fight to be stopped at 2:25 of round one Saturday evening at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Ramirez (promised anyone who would listen that his fight would steal the show, a humble brag offered everytime he enters the ring. The L.A. bred prospect made good on that promise, taking the fight to Salvatierra (8-2, 5KOs) from the opening bell.
Salvatierra found himself pinned against the ropes, where Ramirez lined up his foe with a sensational right hand. Salvatierra went sailing through the ropes, his fall broken only by a nearby photographer as he tried in vain to make it back into the ring to beat the count. Referee Ivan Guillermo decided there was no need for the fight to continue.
Ramirez moves to a perfect 10-0 (8KOs) and with plenty of room for growth—although he seems more interested in racing straight to the contender stage of his career.
“Joshua Franco, [Jesse] Bam Rodriguez, anyone with a belt I’m coming for you,” Ramirez told DAZN’s Chris Mannix after the fight. “I’m not here to take part, I’m here to take over!”
Katsuma Akitsugi picked up a quick win in a shortened bout he accepted on less than one week’s notice. The unbeaten Los Angeles-based prospect settled for a technical decision win over veteran clubfighter Jose Santos Gonzalez. Scores were not announced for their featherweight bout, which ended 0:01 into round four when it was deemed that a cut over Gonzalez’s left eye was deemed too severe to continue.
The fight was a late addition to the show, as Akitsugi—a Japanese junior featherweight prospect based in L.A.—agreed to the fight at a higher weight roughly five days ago. The bout came barely a month after his most recent fight, an eight-round win over unbeaten Gregory Morales in his opponent’s San Antonio hometown on the undercard of Ryan Garcia’s ring return.
Akitsugi was well on his way to making a name for himself in his featherweight clash with Gonzalez (23-10-1, 13KOs), controlling the action through three rounds and landing several straight left hands along the way. The most punishing sequence, however, was a clash of heads midway through round three, leaving Gonzalez with a nasty cut over his left eyebrow. The Guadalajara native did his best to brave the pain, but was clearly affected by the wound.
Time was called at the start of round four, with the ringside physician examining Gonzalez before informing the referee that the fight could not continue. A rule unique to the California State Athletic Commission saw the fight go to the scorecards since the bell sounded to begin the fourth round, whereas most other states require a bout go four full rounds under such a scenario.
Akitsugi is now a perfect 10-0 (1KO). It is already the third win of 2022 for the Japanese southpaw.
Headlining the show, former WBO super middleweight titlist Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (43-0, 29KOs) faces Germany’s Dominic Boesel (32-2, 12KOs) in a scheduled twelve-round light heavyweight title eliminator. The winner will become the mandatory challenger to current WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox