NASHVILLE—From the moment their fight was announced as part of the Fox-televised tripleheader, many boxing experts had the welterweight clash between Abel Ramos and Bryant Perrella to steal the show.
They did more than that, as Ramos stole victory from the jaws of defeat with a bailout 10th round knockout in their chief support Saturday evening at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
The evening’s headliner saw home-grown super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant register his second defense with a 10th round technical knockout of Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz. Still, the Ashland City native had a lot to live up after the trick Ramos pulled, staring at a guaranteed points loss before twice dropping Perrella to force what was literally a last-second stoppage.
“I know the fight’s not over until it’s over,” Ramos (26-3-2, 20KOs) said after arguably the best win of his eight-plus year career. “That’s the game. I’ve been sick for two weeks. But no excuses. I wanted to come here and perform.”
Ramos did just that, although just not very well through the first nine rounds of action. The 28-year old from Casa Grande, Arizona was down 87-84 on the card of Mike Fitzgerald, while judges David Hudson and Benoit Russell had the bout 88-83 to that point. The scores were well in line with the level of dominance exuded byPerrella (17-3, 14KOs), a 30-year old southpaw from Ft. Myers, Florida who enjoyed a 200-82 advantage in total connects. Perrella also outlanded Ramo in nine of the 10 rounds of action, including a 16-9 edge in the 10th and final round.
None mattered any more than the shots Ramos landed in the final 30 seconds of the contest. The dramatic shift in momentum was reminiscent of one of the more iconic last-second stoppages in boxing history, when Julio Cesar Chavez avoided a split decision defeat after Meldrick Taylor was ruled unfit to continue with mere seconds to go in their March 1990 battle of unbeaten 140-pound titlists.
Ramos wasn’t even born yet at the time, though enough of a student of the game to have channeled that same energy at a time when he was looking at certain defeat.
“I watched the Chavez-Taylor fight like 10 million times and I never thought I’d be in something like that,” admits Ramos. “It just goes to prove that fights are never over till it’s over. You have to fight every single second of every single round.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox