Former unified world champion and Central Valley native Jose Ramirez (27-1 17KOs) returned to the win column Friday night after a 10 round unanimous decision victory over Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (29-4 14KOs) at the Save Mart Center in Fresno.
Out of the ring since a May 2021 loss to undisputed champion Josh Taylor, Ramirez didn’t take an easy return fight. A former two division champion, Pedraza has played the spoiler in recent bouts but was unable to convince the judges in Ramirez’s home town.
On scores of 116-112 on all three judges scorecards, Ramirez’s combination punching swayed the judges over Pedraza’s single counter shots for the win. The victory earned Ramirez a shot at his previously held WBC title that is expected to be vacated following Josh Taylor’s decision to move up to the welterweight division.
“I’m going to go back, work and stay focused and stay active. That’s one thing that’s affected me these last couple of years. I’ve trained so many times for a little bit of fights. My inactivity, my discouragement throughout training camps, it really took a big toll on me.” Ramirez said following the fight.
Torrez Jr. Wins Debut by KO
Olympic heavyweight silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (1-0 1KO) stopped Allen Melson (6-4 3KOs) of Alabama in the second round.
An accidental headbutt opened a gash on Torrez’s eyebrow to create some early adversity for the Tulare native Torrez. Blood streaming down his face, Torrez sat down on his punches and scored two knockdowns to put an end to Melson and send the crowd reeling in the second round.
“After the cut, I knew I had to get back to basics, and that’s what I did. I made sure to avoid additional head clashes, and I got the job done in the second.” Said Torrez during the post-fight interview.
Stockton’s Gabriel Flores Wins Majority Decision
Gabriel Flores Jr. (21-1 7KOs) bounced back from his first loss in 2021 with a majority decision win over tough Mexican Abraham Montoya (20-3-1 14KOs).
Boxing off his jab and using distance to control the tempo, Flores built an early lead. Montoya continued to charge forward like a bull wearing down the Stockton native, but the early rounds in the bank were enough for Flores to squeak by with a narrow majority decision on scores of 95-95, and 96-94 twice.
Bakersfield’s Contreras Draws with Tanajara
Central Valley boxers highlighted the action with Bakersfield’s Miguel Contreras 11-1-6KOs battling Hector Tanajara (19-1-1 5KOs) to an action-packed draw on the score cards.
Changes in momentum and big punches highlighted the close fight to the crowd’s delight.
Neither fighter was able to maintain control and the judges scorecards read 78-74 for Tanajara, 77-75 Contreras, and 76-76 even for a draw.