Undefeated unified Super Lightweight champion Jose RamÍrezpushed in a tight battle by former champion Viktor Postol with a crafty outing; One side of a potential undisputed fight remains intact
LAS VEGAS (August 29, 2020) — Since boxing resumed its schedule in early June, only the women have had legit champion versus challenger bouts. Undefeated unified Super Lightweight champion José Ramírez and Viktor Postol changed that trend.
The fight saw external factors move it from a China host site to Ramírez’ hometown of Fresno, California, and now to Top Rank’s Bubble inside the MGM Grand Conference Center. The major implication remained the same. Could Ramírez do his part to keep a potential undisputed Lightweight championship fight against fellow undefeated unified champion Josh Taylor alive?
Understandably, the fight ended up being an up and down fight without any prolonged dominant stretches by either man. The fighters spent an unusually long amount of time in camp for a fight that was postponed twice. Ramírez (26-0, 17 KOs) landed the better shots, and seemed to clearly stun Postol on two occasions. Postol (31-3, 12 KOs) jabbed well and boxed effectively throughout the fight, in addition to his constant movement, the challenger also used his length effectively.
Ramírez never got inside long enough to set his feet and punish Postol with multiple punch combinations, but he pushed the pace and scored consistently. The scorecards were indicative of the back-and-forth action without any knockdowns. Ramírez retained his title, in the face of unique circumstances, via a majority decision with two judges scoring the fight in the champion’s favor 115-113 and 116-112.
The challenger connected with some jabs to Ramírez’ body over the first 90 seconds of their long-awaited showdown. After some early feinting and erky-jerky upper body movement, Ramírez closed the distance on Postol pretty quickly. Postol landed a sharp jab that snapped the champion’s head back before the round ended.
Ramírez landed a solid left hook to open the second round. Postol returned to working behind his jab – up and down. Ramírez landed a pair of digging left hooks to the body over the final 60 seconds.
Ramírez chased the challenger wildly at times to open the third round. Postol continued to move and jab. The two exchanged a pair of hooks. Postol headed towards his corner with a mark on his forehead above his right eye.
Looking to land heavier shots, Ramírez’ approach became more direct in the fourth round. Postol escaped the ropes a couple times the champion had him trapped in the ropes. He landed a solid 1-2 combination moments ahead of the bell.
Postol landed his best group of punches right ahead of 1:45. Just before 1:00 Ramírez landed a left jab that snapped Postol’s head backwards. Postol scored some more shots with about 15 seconds left, closing out a solid round behind steady work and maintaining space between him and the champ.
Postol, a former champion himself, continued to anticipate Ramírez well and fight composed. RamÍrezpressed Postol more in the sixth round, but the action was somewhat even.
Postol landed a solid 1-2 combination near the middle of the round. Moments later a Ramírez left hand finally got through Postol’s guard and the champion saw enough of a reaction to move in for short flurry. Postol moved away to regroup. The challenger responded late in the round with some of his own offense.
The opening minute of the round was uneventful until Postol found himself in a corner again, where Ramírez sprang forward with another big left hand. Ramírez and his steady pressure appeared to make Postol look increasingly less settled.
Ramírez popped Postol with a jab about 30 seconds into round nine. The two exchanged jabs. Postol moved and kept the action circling around the center of the ring.
Postol looked to land something meaningful early. By the final minute he was back to using his legs. Both men had moments in round 10, and Ramírez closed the round with a short left hand.
Both fighters landed some significant shots over the first half of round 11. Postol stepped forward for a pair of 1-2 combinations before the action stopped so loose tape on Postol’s glove could be addressed. Ramírez restarted the action with a quick flurry.
The 12th and final round opened with a tinge of suspense. The two stepped forward and exchanged hooks to kick off the action. Postol unleashed some shots. Ramírez fired back. Postol stayed on his toes, landed some timely punches, and Ramírez never got into any kind of sustained attack to close the round.
Unexpectedly, the fight ended with both men having made a credible case for a victory. Postol’s forehead was marked up in places. Ramírez finished the fight with a bloody mouth. Ramírez appeared to be a little more concerned than Postol ahead of the fight’s verdict.
The scores seemingly supported the swings that played out over the 12 rounds of well-contested action. The end result was a majority decision with scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112.
The Co-Main Event
Undefeated Super Lightweight Arnold Barboza Jr. arrived at The Bubble looking to tend to his own affairs in one of boxing’s most loaded divisions. Tony Luis stood in his way.
In the co-main event Barboza (24-0, 10 KOs) boxed well and cleanly in the first round against Luis (29-4, 10 KOs).
Luis, a 32-year old Canadian, stalked and looked for his shots through the first two rounds but failed to make his presence known through the first two frames. He found his way inside to be difficult, and stood squarely too often.
Barboza circled the round and stepped back often to attack from his preferred distance. Blood dripped from the shorter Luis’ mouth down to his right bicep and forearm.
Luis picked up his pace somewhat in round four. Barboza responded by reasserting himself over the final minute.
Barboza continued to throw and land the more effective shots in round five. The Canadian rarely had his feet set to land a real power punch, settling for mostly single jabs throughout the round. Barboza controlled the action with his jab and combinations of two or three shots.
Barboza started moving forward in round six, working in rhythm until the two were separated by referee. After a blow strayed to the right quadriceps of Luis, Barboza was assessed a 1-point penalty. The break in action staved off a rise in momentum that could’ve caused the referee to step in on Luis’ behalf.
Barboza’s aggression never rose to the same level over the final four rounds. However, the Los Angelo controlled the action the rest of the way. He sat down on multiple combinations, from distance, to punctuate his dominance in round nine. Luis attempted to mix things up a little more in the final round, but Barboza still landed enough combinations that secured him a 99-90 score for all three judges.
Elvis Rodriguez vs Cody Wilson
Undefeated southpaw Elvis Rodriguez continued to raise his profile in impressive fashion during his Covid-19 pandemic appearances. Fighting at Welterweight for this return to The Bubble, he dropped Cody Wilson with a straight left hand in the first round.
Wilson (9-3, 6 KOs) bounced back to compete in the second frame before getting touched with some right uppercuts – one dislodged his mouthpiece – at the end of the round. Rodriguez stepped on the gas through the opening minute of the subsequent round, and as Wilson went to open up the Dominican’s accuracy and power closed the show.
Rodriguez laced Wilson with shots that drove him backwards into a corner, and then lined up a crushing left hand that knocked the 26-year old West Virginian out at 1:03. Rodriguez moved to 9-0-1 with his ninth KO.
Also in action
In the opening bout Southpaw Middleweight Javier Martinez put in a solid night of work against Rance Ward. Ward received a couple of warnings from referee Robert Byrd to look alive over the second half of round five. Ward stood in the pocket under heavy fire again in the sixth round, failing to avoid a clean sweep by Martinez who earned his second victory with scores of 60-54.
All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank