By Raj Sharma @ ringside
The last person welterweight contender Cosme Rivera probably wanted to be in the ring with after the debacle against Zab Judah last May was another quick southpaw. Unfortunately for Rivera, his opponent Mario Ramos fit that description, albeit with a lot less punching power than Zab. The 24 year old Phoenix upstart confused the veteran Rivera en route to a ten round unanimous decision win last night in Cabazon, California. The bout was the main event of the "Battles in the War Zone" card at the Morongo Casino & Spa. The promoter of the event was II Feathers Promotions, headed by Al Franco and "Indian" Willie Schunke.
After a close first round, Ramos took control in the second. He allowed Rivera to press forward, content to either catch the former title challenger coming in with quick combos or make him miss and counter. By the fourth stanza, Rivera appeared confused by the style and quickness of Ramos. Cosme began to let Ramos press forward, apparently hoping to lure the less experienced
fighter into a big punch. It wasn't going to happen. Ramos' straight left hand was landing fairly often. Adding to Rivera's woes was a cut over the left eye that apparently came from an unintentional headbutt. Ramos had an excellent sixth round, doing some nice combination punching after maneuvering Rivera
into the ropes.
Perhaps sensing urgency, Rivera resumed the role of aggressor in the seventh. Ramos was getting the better of the exchanges however, with his faster and straighter punching. Rivera rallied to win the 8th and perhaps the 9th, as the younger fighter seemed to take his foot off the gas pedal. Ramos closed the show strong in the tenth, backing Rivera into a corner and letting his hands go. At this point Rivera was showing signs of fatigue, having eaten
some nice right hooks to the body earlier in the bout.
The judge's scores confirmed Ramos's seeming dominance. Lou Fillipo and Marty Denkin had it 98-92 for Mario, while Jerry Cantu had it 99-91 for the jubilant victor. Ramos's record now stands at 15-1-1 with 3 KOs, while Rivera drops to 28-9-2 with 21 stoppages. "Just keep on going, and try to get up there. Bigger and better things" said Ramos when asked what's next. Ramos and trainer Walt Hoskins informed Boxingtalk that the fighter will return to the 140 pound division.
"I just knew he could beat the guy, because of his style" said Hoskins. Rivera may be inclined to agree with him after last night.
On the undercard, local junior welterweight prospect Freddie Barrera ran his record to 9-0 with a unanimous six round decision over veteran Gustavo Tapia. Junior Middleweight "Tenacious" Trudy Mays evened her record up at 1-1 with a four round unanimous decision over debuting Demi Nguyen. Nguyen was accompanied to the ring by famed manager and Contender "mother figure" Jackie Kallen. Nazareth McClay of Panama knocked out Lalo Lopez to successfully win his pro debut in a junior middleweight contest. Referee Jerry Cantu counted Lopez out at 2:01 of the second round after he was caught with a well placed right hand. Marvin Carrera outpointed debuting Mario Franco in a four round featherweight clash. In the opener, Jesus Rivas got his first pro win by winning a unanimous decision over the tough Yiserdo Herrera. Herrera was dropped in the first, but came back to almost stop Rivas in the second. Rivas rallied to take the 3rd and 4th rounds over a tiring Herrera, who never quit throwing punches.
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