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Another Good NIght As Latino Fighters Defend Titles

Credit" Mikey Williams/ Top Rank

New York: Boxing fans got their share again of punches Saturday night. The global pandemic continues and safety protocols have enabled promoters at Top Rank and the PBC/TGB to present championship fights in closed venues.

In the weeks and months ahead there is more to come. Champions will defend their titles on television and streaming networks. ESPN (Top Rank) PBC (Showtime & FOX Sports) and Matchroom (DAZN) which indicates the sport is healthy and meeting obligations for the fighters and fight fans.

Saturday night WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) defeated Greg Vendetti (22-4-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 117-111) in a 12-round showdown headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Lara, (Guantanamo, Cuba) using his counter punching and superior boxing skills, outworked Vendetti, landing 161 total punches to Vendetti’s 88.

“Tonight, I dominated the fight,” said Lara. “After this performance, I’m looking to step in the ring with any of the other champions. I definitely want the winner of Jermell Charlo vs. Jeison Rosario. If that fight can be made, I’ll be ready to go.”

The co-main event featured a super middleweight slugfest as Vladimir Hernandez (Ciudad Lerdo, Durango, Mexico) (12-4, 6 KOs) defeated rugged veteran Alfredo “EL Perro” Anguelo (Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico) (26-8, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision (98-92, 98-92, 98-92) in a 10-round contest.

In an all-action bout that set a CompuBox record for combined punches thrown in a super middleweight scrap (2,137), both fighters landed their share of solid punches. Hernandez got off to a good start, winning the early rounds on the judges’ scorecards.

Angulo took control in the middle rounds, landing the more significant punches and seemed to start wearing down Hernandez. However, Hernandez managed to get his second wind and was able to tough it out, applied the presser in the closing stanzas, and did enough to earn the hard-fought victory.

Top Rank and ESPN: WBC/WBO junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez solved the riddle of Viktor “The Iceman” Postol. In his first bout as a unified world champion, Ramirez came on strong late to edge Postol via majority decision by scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112.

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) swept the last three rounds of two of the judges’ cards to pull out the win. Postol (31-3, 12 KOs), a former WBC 140-pound world champion, saw his two-bout winning streak come to an end.

Ramirez kept alive his hopes of unifying the division with WBA/IBF world champion Josh Taylor, a promotional stablemate who bested Postol by unanimous decision in June 2018. Taylor defends his belts Sept. 26 against Apinun Khongsong, live on ESPN+.

Said Ramirez, “I went in there a little too cold, you know? I impressed myself. I’m much stronger than most guys think. I just gotta not lose confidence in myself and stick to what I do best and box, let my hands go and not hesitate too much. I think there was a little bit of hesitation throughout the fight.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the ring,” he said about a fight that was postponed three times due to COVID-19 concerns. “There have been a lot of things that have happened in my personal life. It’s been such a long training camp.

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “It was a good fight, but both men were impacted by going through three training camps and the whole situation with COVID-19. That being said, I thought Jose clearly won the fight.”

Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (24-0, 10 KOs), the fighting pride of South El Monte, Calif., remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision (99-90 3x) over Tony “The Lightning” Luis (29-4, 10 KOs), a former interim world title challenger who entered the fight on a 10-bout winning streak.

Barboza applied steady pressure throughout, with the only hiccup coming when referee Mike Ortega deducted a point for low blows.

Ranked in the Top 10 by two of the sanctioning organizations, he has bigger fights on his radar.

Said Barboza, “To be honest, I haven’t fought since last November. I haven’t gone 10 rounds in a while. He was a tough guy. I needed the rounds. I showed a little bit of what I’ve been working on in the corner, going southpaw and all that. I give my performance a ‘B.’ I wasn’t really satisfied because I didn’t get the stoppage. It happens.

“I want {Alex} Saucedo. I think me and him would be a great fight. I know he wants it. I want it, so we could probably get it on soon. If he’s ready, I’ll be ready.”

— Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (9-0-1, 9 KOs) scored his third “Bubble” knockout, stopping Cody Wilson (9-3, 6 KOs) with a left hand in the third round of their scheduled six-round welterweight bout. Rodriguez, trained by Freddie Roach, has notched seven consecutive knockouts since a first-round technical draw.

Said Rodriguez, “We knew it was going to be a tough fight because I’m a 140-pound fighter, but this fight took place at 144 pounds. I knew I had to be patient, but I knew that I could set up that knockout.

“When someone like Freddie Roach, a Hall of Famer, a legendary trainer, says that about someone like me, wow, that’s amazing. It’s also bringing some pressure because I have to perform. I know that under him, I’m going to continue to develop my skills, my talent, and I’m not going to let anyone down.”

— Rising lightweight Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (10-0, 8 KOs) extended his knockout streak to five with a seventh-round TKO over Cesar Valenzuela (15-7-1, 5 KOs).

— Bantamweight prospect Gabriel “El Maestro” Muratalla (5-0, 3 KOs), the fighting preschool teacher, improved to 3-0 inside the “Bubble” with a four-round unanimous decision over Justice Bland (2-1). Muratalla rebounded from a first-round knockdown to sweep the final three rounds on the judges’ scorecards, each of whom scored it 38-36.

— Milwaukee native and top middleweight prospect Javier Martinez (2-0) cruised to a six-round unanimous decision over Rance Ward (4-2-1, 2 KOs) by identical scores of 60-54. Martinez, a former U.S. amateur star, turned pro under the Top Rank banner last month.

Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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