Super bantamweight prospect Rico Ramos passed the biggest test of his career tonight at Camp Lejuene on ESPN2, knocking out veteran Heriberto Ruiz on a nasty straight right hand early in the second round.
Ramos (18-0, 10 KO) was simply too fast and too fresh for Ruiz (44-10-2, 26 KO). Ramos isn't known for his power, but the timing of his punch, coming under a looping right hand from Ruiz, was perfect. Ruiz crumpled on the blow, and couldn't continue.
Ruiz, 33, has been in the ring and given tougher nights to a lot of good fighters over his career. So not only was this a step up for Ramos, but clearly his best win. After the fight, Ramos called out featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez, which is, you know, not likely. But the Goossen Tutor fighter took a big step forward tonight.
In the co-feature, former Olympian Shawn Estrada (10-0, 9 KO) went the distance for the first time in his pro career, struggling a bit over six rounds with Oakland's Tony Hirsch (12-4-1, 6 KO). Estrada knocked Hirsch down on a left hook in the first round, but he was just incredibly wild and seemed a little jittery. All in all, even with the struggles, it's probably good for Estrada to have gone the distance looking forward. Before this, he had never even been into a fourth round, and had only fought into the third round on one occasion. Eight of his first nine pro fights had ended in the first round. The 25-year-old Estrada won on scores of 58-55 and 59-54 (twice). Bad Left Hook had him winning 58-55.
I would not be covering the entire broadcast if I didn't mention tonight's commentary team. Teddy Atlas was there as usual, but was not joined by usual play-by-play man Joe Tessitore, or frequent replacement Brian Kenny. Instead, it was Claudia Trejos of ESPN Deportes working with Teddy, and Atlas found himself in deep waters. Trejos had a brutally awful night, at one point asking Atlas during an amateur bout, "Would you agree that Heathcock Grant has the advantage in height being that he’s four inches taller?" Between that, not knowing what "Dre Day" is, and constantly sounding tongue-tied and completely out of her element, it was a historic night for boxing broadcasting. I honestly hope Claudia doesn't take an obviously poor performance to heart; I think we all know she was simply out of her element, but it's worth having a laugh over, and also worth noting she seemed to get better as the night went along. Hats off to her for hanging in.