SportsMap Weekend Boxing Rewind

Gervonta Davis flashes power in destruction of Ruiz

Gervonta Davis speaks with the media following his first round knockout of Hugo Ruiz Saturday night. Photo courtesy David Mandel/Showtime.

It was a quick night of work for Gervonta Davis, who demolished challenger Hugo Ruiz via first round knockout on Saturday night in Los Angeles. Davis (21-0, 20 KO,) the World Boxing Association super featherweight champion, stunned Ruiz with a hard right hook just before the bell. Ruiz (39-4, 33 KO) was able to beat the count and make it to his feet, but when referee Jack Reiss asked Ruiz if he wanted to continue Ruiz was silent. After asking multiple times, Reiss called a halt to the action with one second left in round one. Earlier in the first Davis broke Ruiz's nose, which appeared to aid his decision not to continue. Following the stoppage blood poured from the nose of Ruiz, who looked like the much smaller man in the ring against the bigger, stronger Davis.

Davis was originally scheduled to fight former tilist Abner Mares in what would have been Davis' biggest fight of his career to date. But Mares suffered a detached retina, the second of his career, in the lead up to the fight, causing Mares to pull out of the bout. Ruiz took the fight on late notice but has spent his career fighting at 122 and 126 pounds. The naturally smaller man was no match for Davis' devastating power.

At 24 years old, Davis is considered one of the most skilled young fighters in the sport. However, his career to this point has been dominated by setbacks outside of the ring. Saturday's fight was just his second in the last ten months. Davis has had public feuds with promoter Floyd Mayweather, and struggled to make weight on multiple occasions. Davis has also battled repeated legal issues.

After the fight Davis expressed a desire to get back in the ring quickly. A quick return to the ring shouldn't be an issue for Davis: Ruiz landed just three punches before being knocked out, so Davis' body should require minimal recovery before starting his next training camp.

SUNDAY IN FRESNO, CA: RAMIREZ RALLIES TO KEEP BELT AGAINST ZEPEDA

World Boxing Council junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez (24-0, 16 KO) came on strong in the second half of his fight with challenger Jose Zepeda to retain his belt via majority decision. One judge scored the bout a 114-114 draw. The others scored it 116-112 and 115-113, both for Ramirez. SportsMap.com scored the bout a 114-114 draw. It was Ramirez's third successful defense of his 140 pound WBC title.

Zepeda (30-2, 25 KO) jumped out to an early lead in the fight, landing one-two combinations out of his southpaw stance. Throughout the first five rounds he looked to be the better fighter, working behind his jab and scoring with clean lefts down the middle. But as the second half of the fight wore on Ramirez dominated the action, effectively applying pressure and stunning Zepeda several times along the ropes.

The fight was dominated by cuts, with several clashes of heads throughout the action. In the early going an accidental headbutt opened a cut on Ramirez that was incorrectly ruled to be by a punch. Later in the action Zepeda was cut following another accidental clash of heads.

After the fight Ramirez expressed a desire to either unify belts at 140 pounds or make a move to to 147 pounds, where a potential showdown with TopRank stablemate Terence Crawford could potentially be waiting.

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Dana Brown is the new Astros GM. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

The Houston Astros finally have their guy. Dana Brown, a long-time MLB executive, was named the franchise’s new general manager on Thursday afternoon.

Brown has decades of experience scouting players and working in the front offices for MLB clubs. He is coming from the Atlanta Braves where he was the Vice President of Scouting since 2019. Brown primarily focused on scouting in the amateur ranks.

Before joining Atlanta, Brown spent nine seasons serving as a special assistant to the general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. Prior to that, he was spent eight seasons as the scouting director for the Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals.

Throughout his long career, Brown has been responsible for selecting multiple players that went on to play in MLB, including Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann.

With the Braves, Brown helped in the team selecting Michael Harris II, who won the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year, right-handed pitcher Spencer Strider and infielder Vaughn Grissom. Brown also took catcher Shea Langeliers, which helped Atlanta land Matt Olson, who became a key figure in the Braves’ 2022 season.

The new Astros general manager was also a player in his own right. The 55-year-old had a stellar career with Seton Hall in the 1980s. He earned a Big East first team selection three times with the Pirates, and he helped lead Seton Hall to a 149-71-1 record in four years.

He also helped Seton Hall win a conference championship in 1987. Brown played 215 games for the Pirates, had 743 at bats and scored 207 runs. He was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 35th round of the 1989 MLB Amateur Draft.

Brown seems like a perfect fit for the Astros, who have become known for their ability to scout underrated players in their own right, such as Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Luis Garcia and going over a decade back, Jose Altuve.

With Houston owner Jim Crane looking to win as many championships as possible, a person that can scout and find key pieces to a championship roster is a coveted skill, which is something that Brown has demonstrated he possesses.

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