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.

SportsMap Weekend Boxing Rewind

Manny proves age is just a number

Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions.

Manny Pacquaio outworked, outsmarted and outslugged Keith Thurman on Saturday night in Las Vegas to claim the WBA Welterweight Super Title and re-announce his presence to the rest of the division. Pacquiao looked like his old self, especially early in the fight, to win a clear but competitive decision over Thurman, who entered the ring ten years Pacquiao's younger. Ringside judges scored the fight 114-113 for Thurman and 115-112 (twice) for Pacquiao. SportsMap.com also scored the bout 115-112 in favor of Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, who now splits his time between boxing and senatorial duties in the Philippines, looked like vintage Manny in the early going, landing a right hook near the end of the first round that sent Thurman sprawling to the canvas. Thurman was up quickly and didn't appear to be badly hurt by the knockdown. Pacquiao continued the quick start by landing the harder, more damaging punches throughout the first half of the fight. Pacquiao routinely initiated the action by pressuring Thurman with flurries of combinations. The knockdown, paired with Pacquiao's early success gave him an advantage on the scorecards he would never relinquish.

Thurman began to feel Pacquiao out as the fight moved into the middle rounds, timing Pacquiao's volume combinations with well placed counters. While Thurman snapped Pacquiao's head back at times, he never rose beyond competitive and never seemed to take the fight back over from Pacquiao, who laid claim to it following the knockdown.

If there was any doubt the 40 year old could finish off the victory, it was removed in round ten, when Pacquiao badly hurt Thurman with a body shot. The blow left Thurman covering up to the body and leaving his head vulnerable to combinations for the remainder of the round. Thurman bounced back with a nice round 11 but the damage was done. Entering the final stanza Thurman needed a knockout. But once again it was Pacquiao who landed the heavier work.

Thurman was gracious in defeat, saying he felt the fight was close but acknowledged that he had lost. It was the first defeat in Thurman's career. He expressed interest in making a rematch.

By winning Pacquiao once again has claim to being a top-3 welterweight in the world, along with PBC stablemate Errol Spence as well as Terence Crawford. A unification bout with Spence, the IBF welterweight champion, would be easy to make. However it won't be made in the immediate future. Spence is set to fight WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter in September. Spence would be a heavy favorite over Pacquiao. Because of this fact, paired with Pacquiao's marketability, a fight between the two would likely only be made it what would be Pacquiao's last fight. After Saturday's performance Pacquiao's career doesn't appear to be anywhere close to finish, so I would expect Manny to be back in the ring in the fall against the mandatory challenger for his WBA title.

UGAS DOMINATES FIGUEROA

On the undercard Cuban national Yordenis Ugas has no trouble defeating Omar Figueroa, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 119-107 (three times.) SportsMap.com also scored the fight 119-107 for Ugas.

Ugas won every minute of every round, beating Figueroa at his own game. Figueroa, content to fight on the inside, was a step behind the quicker, more technically skilled Ugas. He was repeatedly countered with uppercuts up the middle, and never made any adjustments that led observers to believe Figueroa could solve Ugas. The fight makes Ugas the mandatory challenger for the WBC welterweight title. Ugas fought Porter for the WBC title earlier in the year and lost a controversial decision.

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