By Francisco Salazar at ringside
FRESNO - Junior welterweight Jose Ramirez remained unbeaten Friday night, stopping late sub Issouf Kinda in round six before a crowd of 13,700 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
With the win, Ramirez improves to 19-0, 14 KOs. Kinda, who took the fight on a week's notice, dropped to 18-4, 7 KOs.
Kinda scored a knockdown of Ramirez early in the second round, although replays showed Ramirez lost his balance during an exchange. Ramirez protested to referee Marcos Rosales that he was pushed down, but to no avail.
The knockdown seemed to spur Ramirez, as he was mostly the aggressor and attempting to walk Kinda down during the middle rounds.
Ramirez found success getting on the inside, landing straight right hands to the body, followed by right uppercuts to the head of Kinda.
Early in the sixth round, Ramirez dropped Kinda with a left hook to the body. Kinda beat the count, but Ramirez met him with a barrage of punches against the ropes, prompting referee Marcos Rosales to stop the bout at 58 seconds.
"Kinda had a tight defense," said Ramirez after the fight. "I had to be patience. I was finally able to deliver that hard body shot that dropped him."
Junior middleweight Danny Valdivia remained unbeaten, decisioning Aaron Garcia over eight hard-fought rounds. Valdivia (13-0, 9 KOs) dropped Garcia with a left hook to the head in round two. Garcia (12-7-1, 10 KOs) returned the favor during the following round, dropping Madera with a right hand to the head.
Both had their moments during the middle rounds, but Valdivia swung momentum his way in round six, dropping Garcia with a right hand to the head. Valdivia solidified his win in round eight, dropping Garcia with a left hook to the head. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Valdivia, 77-71, 77-71, and 78-70.
Unbeaten middleweight and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Esquiva Falcao (15-0, 10 KOs) won a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision over late-sub Luis Hernandez (14-3, 7 KOs). Falcao was the more-accurate fighter, landing numerous punches flush to the head of Hernandez.
Both fighters put forth solid exchanges between the two, bringing cheers from the crowd. Hernandez stunned Falcao late in the seventh round, but Falcao was able to weather through the storm, even stunning Hernandez in round eight. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Falcao, 79-73, 79-73, and 78-74.
In a grudge match between local super middleweights, Quilisto Madera (5-0, 2 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Joe Louis Lopez. Both fighters had their moments early on, even though the action was sloppy and void of any technical ability. Madera dropped Lopez (8-2, 5 KOs) midway through the fourth round. Sensing he was down in the fight, Lopez, who had to deal with a nasty cut from the second round, pressed the action, stunning Madera repeatedly during the fourth round. Madera dropped Lopez a second time, this time in the fifth round. All three judges scored the bout 59-53 in favor of Madera.
Lightweight Bryan Lua was successful in his pro debut, defeating Manuel Lopez (1-2-1) by unanimous decision over four rounds. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Lua, 40-35, 39-36, and 38-37.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, junior welterweight Ashkat Ualikhanov(1-1, 1 KO) stopped Carlos Aguilera (11-20, 5 KOs) at 1:25 of the opening round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County Star (Calif.) newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing