Valdez and Ramirez Win Thrilling Decisions in Arizona
Published: September 23, 2017
TUCSON, ARIZONA – The heat inside the ring proved to be hotter than the temperature outside in Tucson, Arizona as Top Rank on ESPN delivered an exciting night of boxing. WBO featherweight (126) champion Oscar Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) successfully defended his title against tough Filipino challenger Genesis Servania (29-1, 12 KOs). Valdez once again proved to be one of the most exciting fighters in the entire sport. Similar to his fight in April wit Miguel Marriaga, Valdez was put to the test against Servania.
In the fourth round, Servania scored a knockdown on Valdez with a right hand as the young champion pulled away after a combination. It seemed like the momentum was in favor of the Filipino and that fan may be witnessing an upset. Valdez, however, showed his resilience by scoring a knockdown of his own with a perfectly timed left hook that was so quick it looked like a jab. The crowd in Tucson exploded after the knockdown proving to be one of the best crowds the sport has seen this year.
The rest of the fight was filled tension as anytime the two men exchanged punches it gave Servania a chance at victory. Valdez learned his lesson and from the eighth round on exchanged in spots while outboxing Servania from the outside. The final round was one of the best of the year with both men landing and trading punches. In the end, Valdez was awarded the unanimous decision with scores of 116-110, 119-111, and 117-109.
After two tough fights in a row, fans will look forward to whom Valdez steps in the ring with next. The featherweight division is one of the best in the sport currently, and any of the champions in the division would make for a great fight with the young Valdez.
The co-main event between two undefeated Super Middleweights (168) provided fans with a fight of the year candidate. Mexico’s Gilberto Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs) got a razor close decision over Philadelphia’s Jesse Hart (22-1, 18 KOs). The judge’s scorecards were 115-112 twice and once score 114-113. The fight played out in two halves as Ramirez scored a knockdown in the second round with an uppercut and began dominating Hart with body shots. By the eighth round, it was clear that Hart was not going anywhere as he turned the fight around by landing his own set of uppercuts and right hands. The 12th round was one of the best of the year with both men fighting on the inside and landing hard punches. While Ramirez may have gotten the decision, a rematch with Hart would be welcomed as the match highlighted the up and coming new era at Super Middleweight.
Earlier on the card two Olympic boxers made an impression as Michael Conlan (4-0, 4 KOs) and Mikaela Mayer (2-0, 2 KOs) scored impressive stoppage victories. Conlan stopped Kenny Guzman (3-1, 1 KOs) with a right hand in the second round as he continues to stay busy in the first year of his professional career. Mayer in her second professional bout scored a third-round stoppage dropping her opponent Allison Martinez (1-3, 1 KO) twice in the first and third rounds before the fight was stopped.
(Feature Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)