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 NASCAR Cup Series heads for Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers 400. MIS is one of the fastest racetracks in the country, as cars are capable of reaching speeds of 201-205 miles per hour. Hopefully, we will see a safe race considering the speeds we see here. We will more than likely see a race that is vastly different from what we saw last here when the drivers utilized the draft to pass around this track. This year, the cars are less aero-dependent and will be much more spread out. The drivers will need to continue to manage their tires as they have been doing all year.

Last weekend at Indy, Tyler Reddick captured his second victory of 2022 in dramatic fashion. The race came down to numerous restarts where drivers would drive way too deep into the first corner and run into each other each time. This was the central theme of the race, as restarts pretty much decided everything. We saw drivers like AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney get swept up in wrecks in turn one. On the final restart, Ross Chastain decided he didn’t want to be a part of these shenanigans and took the access road that skipped turn one. This moved catapulted him to the lead with Tyler Reddick as the two battled for the lead in a two-lap shootout. When the dust settled, Reddick came away victorious and Ross Chastain was black flagged for shortcutting.

The finish of this race sparked a serious debate among drivers and fans alike about ditching the Indianapolis road course and returning to the oval in 2023. Personally, this doesn’t make any sense to me. While yes, turn one is difficult to maneuver, it’s mainly because drivers all decide to send it as deep as they can, not because of the racetrack configuration. It’s also a bit disingenuous as for years, drivers and fans have been saying they don’t want to see the oval and that the track is designed for IndyCar. If I had to choose, I would say NASCAR just stop going to Indy and go to the short track down the road at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. We have seen so many great races there, and I think the Cup Series would be perfect for that track. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR responds to this and what they decide to do for next season.

Kurt Busch will be out for the third consecutive week as he continues to recover from a concussion. This has been tough to hear about, and now there are legitimate concerns that he will not return to racing. There is a good chance however that 23XII could be saving him for the playoffs which are coming up.

For now, Ty Gibbs will continue to fill in for Busch. In his two starts the young phenom has performed extremely well, finishing 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indy. It’s clear that this young man can drive these cars, the only problem is finding a place for him to run next season.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Martin Truex Jr. By any other standard, the season that Truex is having has been great. Constantly up front, leading laps and just overall contending. Unfortunately for him, 2022 hasn’t been just any average season. With 14 winners and Truex not being one of them, he is on the playoff bubble even though he is fourth in points. While his playoff future maybe uncertain right now, there are some good racetracks he is going to where can easily get that first win, and Michigan is one of them. Over the last four races here, he currently has the highest average finish, the highest percentage of laps led, but no victories. I see that changing this week. Toyota and Gibbs have been fast this season as Truex’s teammates have all punched their tickets to the playoffs. Look for Truex to be next in line.

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