Jose Ramirez moved closer towards another title shot as he defeated former two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza by unanimous decision in their WBC eliminator at Save Mart Center in California on Friday night.
Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) was fighting for the first time since losing to Josh Taylor by unanimous decision in last May’s clash to become undisputed light-welterweight champion.
The 29-year-old was up by two points on all three judges’ cards heading into the 11th before outlanding Pedraza 28-14 over the final two rounds.
The win gives Ramirez a clear path to a title shot if Taylor, as expected, vacates all four titles and campaigns at welterweight following his controversial win over Jack Catterall.
“Jose Pedraza is a smart, experienced fighter,” said Ramirez. “He was going to find a way to survive and put up a fight.
“He was there boxing towards the end of the fight. My hat’s off to him and his team. He was well-prepared. It was a great fight. I got to see where I am right now.
“I’m going to go back, work and stay focused and stay active. That’s one thing that’s affected me these last couple of years. I’ve been trained so many times for a little bit of fights.
“My inactivity, my discouragement throughout training camps, it really took a big toll on me. I’m ready to stay active and stay motivated. There’s a lot of really great fighters coming up to 140. There’s a lot of really good fighters at 140 right now. “
Torres Jr. produces KO on debut
US Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. capped his professional debut in style with a second-round knockout victory over Allen Melson.
The heavyweight prospect suffered a cut after a clash of heads in the first round but put Melson on the canvas three times, once in the first and twice in the second, with the latter proving decisive.
“After the cut, I knew I had to get back to basics, and that’s what I did,” Torrez said. “I made sure to avoid additional head clashes, and I got the job done in the second.
“Sure, the cut is frustrating, but I’m not going to let it ruin the celebration. What a night. It was everything I’d hoped it would be.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to make a good first impression, especially in front of my home fans. They brought the energy, and I fed off the energy they gave me. The Central Valley is home, and I am proud to represent my people. “
Joet Gonzalez produced a ninth-round stoppage against Jeo Santisima to clinch the WBO International featherweight belt.
Two-time world title challenger Gonzalez (25-2, 15 KOs) caught his opponent with a crisp right hand, prompting the referee to immediately bring the fight to a halt much to the surprise of Santisima’s corner.
Junior lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr. (21-1, 7 KOs) beat Abraham Montoya via majority decision before confirming he was planning on moving to lightweight.
Hector Tanajara Jr. (19-1-1, 5 KOs) drew with Miguel Contreras (11-1-1, 6 KOs), while Carlos Balderas (12-1, 11 KOs) delivered a second-round knockout of Aelio Mesquita (20-7-1, 18 KOs) and Javier Martinez (6-0, 2 KOs) claimed a unanimous decision win over Donte Stubbs (6-4, 2 KOs).
Charlie Sheehy (2-0, 2 KOs) was also victorious with a first-round knockout of Johnny Bernal (2-1, 2 KOs) and Antonio Mireles (3-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Brandon Hughes (2-1, 2 KOs) in the second round.