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21 APRIL 2018

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Ramirez Batters Lorenzo in ESPN Main Event



By: Mike Sloan ( ringside in Las Vegas Mandalay Bay: Super middleweight contender Gilberto Ramirez closed as a huge betting favorite in the ESPN-televised Friday Night Fights main event, so it was no shock that he dominated two-time title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo. The Mandalay Bay Events Center’s sparse crowd enjoyed the systematic destruction “Zurdo” accomplished before their eyes; he closed the show with an impressive fifth round stoppage.

Ramirez battered his foe with perfect counters and powerful leads. When he was on the inside, he raked crushing shots to the body. Lorenzo fought bravely, but the Mazatlan fighter never stopped his attack. Ramirez scored a knockdown in the third and continued the assault into the fourth. By the time the fifth had rolled around, it was obvious that Lorenzo had to do something drastic to alter his fate. Ramirez never allowed it and scored two more knockdowns in the fifth, prompting veteran referee Jay Nady to finally stop it after the Bronx, NY fighter’s corner threw in the towel. The official time of the TKO came at 2:47 of the fifth, allowing Ramirez to ascend to 28-0 with his 22nd career knockout. Lorenzo, who was taken to the hospital with a possible broken rib, dips to 34-6 with 25 KOs.

Young super middleweight prospect Jesse Hart seized control of his battle with Samuel Clarkson as soon as it began and never looked back. “Hard Work” Hart was too fast, too quick, too agile and too accurate for the Cedar Hill, TX combatant to compete with, but Clarkson never backed down one bit. Hart was everywhere in the ring and even after it got physical – borderline dirty – in the middle rounds, he kept his composure.



The Philadelphia native scored two knockdowns in the fourth courtesy of flurries, but Hart couldn’t put away the tougher-than-leather Clarkson. Hart, who is the son of 1970’s middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, never got carried away in search of the knockout and instead coasted toward a lopsided unanimous decision win. All three ringside judges saw it 80-70, allowing Hart to improve to an unbeaten 13-0 with 10 KOs. For his game effort, though, Clarkson fell to 10-3 with 6 KOs.



Lightweight contender Lydell Rhodes had a more difficult time with his opponent than anticipated, but the Spencer, OK fighter still got the victory to remain unbeaten. Rhodes utilized superb footwork and superior hand speed to keep the aggressive Alejandro Rodriguez at bay for most of the fight, though the Guadalajara journeyman kept things interesting throughout.


After Rhodes (20-0, 9 KOs) built an early lead, the Mexican closed the gap with suffocating pressure and hard shots to the head and body. Still, Rhodes’ speed was what set him apart from his foe and allowed him to hang on for the majority decision win. The official scores were 57-57 and 58-56 (twice) for the Yoel Judah-trained Rhodes. Rodriguez dipped to 18-14 with 11 KOs.


Unbeaten Olympian Egor Mekhontsev remained unbeaten as a pro prospect by taking out opponent Dwayne Williams in the third round. The Russian light heavyweight was all over the Detroit native and never stopped until the mugging was finally over. Mekhontsev scored a knockdown in the second and then another in the third. Mekhontsev now stands at a perfect 3-0, with all of his wins coming via stoppage; Williams dropped to 5-2 with 2 KOs.


Bantamweight prospect Gary Salazar improved to 3-0 as he won a convincing four round unanimous decision over Jair Quintero. Salazar showed flashes of great speed and accuracy throughout the contest and controlled most of the action. The Fresno, CA resident won by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 (twice); it is the first time in his blossoming pro career to not end via stoppage. Quintero, from Hermosillo, Mexico, dipped to 1-2-1.


Danny Valdivia, a junior middleweight prospect from Bakersfield, CA, was too fast and accurate for German Valdez to handle. Valdivia landed his counter right hand virtually whenever he threw it and though he never scored a knockdown, he thoroughly dominated the Agua Prieta, Mexico fighter from pillar to post. In the end, Valdivia won a lopsided unanimous decision via tallies of 40-36 on all three official scorecards to improve to 3-0 with 2 KOs. Valdez, for his efforts, fell to 3-4-1 with 1 KO.



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