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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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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