Sports

Ramírez thrills home fans with dominating title defense

José Ramírez looks down at super lightweight opponent Antonio Orozco after knocking him down during his successful defense of the WBC world title Sept. 14 at the Save Mart Center. Ramírez improved to 23-0; Orozco dropped to 27-1.
José Ramírez looks down at super lightweight opponent Antonio Orozco after knocking him down during his successful defense of the WBC world title Sept. 14 at the Save Mart Center. Ramírez improved to 23-0; Orozco dropped to 27-1. jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

The fact that José Ramírez thrilled a crowd of 11,102 boxing fans – plus a national audience on the ESPN network – last Friday night who witnessed the Avenal super lightweight dominate his opponent in a successful defense of his WBC world title did not mean the 26-year-old boxer was entirely pleased.

Ramírez did lose one of the dozen rounds to previously unbeaten Antonio Orozco of San Diego.

Despite landing 381 of 1,036 punches thrown (Orozco managed to land 263 of 782), Ramírez did get stunned by a few of Orozco’s punches.

With a fourth-round knockdown of Orozco, and another in the eighth round, there was no doubt that Ramírez’s undefeated pro record (now 23-0) was in risk. But, he couldn’t get the knockout win that fans were clamoring for as they shouted “José! José José” whenever the Valley favorite appeared on the verge of a knockout.

“I always prepare myself to be the best,” said Ramírez inside the ring following the fight.

Later, he credited Orozco, now 27-1, for a tough battle.

“Antonio Orozco is a true warrior. He wouldn’t stay down,” said Ramírez, who fought for the first time under new trainer Robert García.

García believes that Ramírez will get better as the two learn how to work with each other.

“I felt better. I felt good. I’m so happy,” said Ramírez, whose goal is to unify the super lightweight title.

Orozco can attest to Ramírez’s boxing skill.

“He was a better fighter than me,” said Orozco, who suffered cuts above both eyes during the fight and had to be checked by the ringside physician in order to continue. “There’s a reason he’s the champion.

“I did what I could but it wasn’t enough. I’m going to rebuild. I want to come back. In life you don’t lose; you get lessons.”

The bout, one of eight on the Friday night card, was the first title defense for Ramírez after a July 7 bout was called off when his opponent, Danny O’Connor, suffered severe dehydration.

“I dream to become a world champion; I became a world champion,” said Ramírez. “I dream to become an Olympian; I became an Olympian. And I dream to become the unified and undisputed super lightweight world champion; and that’s what I’m trying for and that’s what I’m going to do.”

18-year-old boxer still undefeated

It wasn’t easy for 18-year-old Stockton lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr. when he got knocked down in the opening round by Roger Gutiérrez.

In the end, Flores improved to 10-0 with a unanimous decision of a six-round match that didn’t sit that well with fans who booed the announcement and then cheered when Gutiérrez was lifted by his corner and carried around the ring.

The scorecards were 59-54, 59-54 and 58-54 in favor of Flores.

“I am very excited to fight again soon, I take pride in staying active and I will have a fight date announced in the next few weeks,” Flores wrote on his Facebook page.

In other fights:

Jamel Herring (18-2) picked up a unanimous, 10-round decision against John Moralde (20-2) for the USBA 130 title.

Fresno’s Isidro Ochoa remained undefeated (6-0) following a third-round knockout of Puerto Rico’s Elio De Jesús (2-3) in a featherweight fight.

Sacramento super bantamweight Santos Ortega improved to 3-0 with a unanimous decision win over Sebastián Baltazar of Tacoma, Washington.

Russia’s Alexander Besputin, now fighting out of Oxnard, improved to 11-0 with a ninth-round TKO of Guadalajara’s Alan Sánchez (20-4-1) in a welterweight bout for the USBA 147 title.

Costa Rica lightweight Bryan Vásquez earned a unanimous decision over Venezuela’s Carlos Cárdenas.

Japan’s Hiroki Okada scored a split decision win over Argentina’s Cristián Coría in a super lightweight match.

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