By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Hugo Ruiz initially looked like he would score a quick knockout Saturday night.
The Mexican featherweight contender dropped late replacement Alberto Guevara barely a minute into their fight on the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner undercard Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. He allowed Guevara to hang around, though, and went the distance in a one-sided fight Ruiz won convincingly to improve to 39-4 (33 KOs).
Judge Robert Hoyle scored all 10 rounds for Ruiz (100-89). Judges Adalaide Byrd and Glenn Trowbridge scored nine of the 10 rounds for Ruiz, who won 99-90 on their cards.
Ruiz’s victory over Guevara was the first of four fights televised by Showtime as part of its pay-per-view telecast. Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) has been stopped only once, but since former WBC bantamweight champ Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19 KOs) beat him by ninth-round knockout in November 2013.
The 28-year-old Guevara replaced Jhack Tepora as Ruiz’s opponent on barely more than 24 hours’ notice Friday. The Philippines’ Tepora (22-0, 16 KOs), who’s co-promoted by Pacquiao’s company, came in 5½ pounds overweight for their scheduled 12-round, 126-pound title fight.
Tepora promptly was removed from the card. Promoters had Guevara on standby and quickly put him into this 10-round, non-title fight.
The WBA also stripped Tepora of its interim featherweight title.
The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th rounds mostly mirrored one another.
Ruiz was the aggressor in each of those rounds and landed occasional shots. He just couldn’t catch the back-tracking Guevara with anything clean enough to hurt him again.
Ruiz wasn’t as effective in the fourth and fifth rounds as he had been during the three previous rounds, but still out-pointed Guevara in the fourth and fifth. Geuvara didn’t land many punches in those rounds, either, but took less punishment during that six-minute stretch.
Guevara landed a combination with just over two minutes to go in the third round. He spent much of the remainder of the round moving away from the aggressive Ruiz.
A right hand by Ruiz caught Guevara on the side of his head and stopped him in his track during the second round.
Ruiz wasted no time dropping Guevara. Two short, hard right hands, followed by a left hook, floored Guevara just before the halfway point of the first round.
He got up and made it to the end of the round without getting knocked down again.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.