Ronny Rios kept his undefeated record with a 10-round decision win tonight in the ShoBox main event against Rico Ramos, but the performances of both fighters were criticized, and even worse, yet again, we had some judging controversy.
It's not that veteran judge Fritz Werner scored the fight for Rios, which was perfectly understandable. Most will probably agree that if anyone deserved to get the nod in this fight, it was Ronny Rios, who opened an early lead before fading down the stretch and allowing a horribly inconsistent Rico Ramos to stay in the fight.
It's that Werner somehow saw it 100-90, ten rounds to zero, for Ronny Rios, when there is just no defense for that. BLH had it 95-95, which was high-end for Ramos, with the other two judges in Indio, California, scoring it 97-93 and 96-94 for Rios. Those two scores were fine, and could be defended without a lot of work.
Werner's shutout, on the other hand, was absurd. It doesn't make a difference in the outcome of the fight; even if he'd managed to score it for Ramos, Rios would have won the fight because the other two judges were actually on the same planet where the bout was taking place. But incompetence is incompetence, and a bad performance is a bad performance. A fighter doesn't have to be robbed in a fight for this to matter -- it matters just as much here, where Werner turned in a scorecard that makes it totally worth questioning whether he should be scoring professional boxing fights at all.
As for the fight, Ramos (21-2, 11 KO) was his usual self, tentative, tense, and unsure of himself. His problems, his team believes, are all mental, and it's an open question as to whether or not he'll ever overcome that enough to really matter beyond the mid-tier. His status as a former "world champion" only matters as far as getting him on TV, though it should not given his boring performances once he's there -- it was a total fluke that he beat Akifumi Shimoda, and if his fights since then have proven that, I believe.
Rios (20-0, 9 KO) did start well, but really fell off in the second half of the fight. On my draw scorecard, I felt that Rios essentially lost the fight by handing over a sure win. I don't have any issue with his getting the victory, and would agree with the previously mentioned thought that I gathered from others during the fight, that if anyone deserved to win, he did. But Rios is another guy at this level who seems destined to hit the wall hard any higher up than this.
20-year-old junior middleweight prospect Daquan Arnett improved to 10-0 (6 KO) with a decision win over Virginia's Brandon Quarles, but didn't impress many with the win. Scores were 78-73, 77-74, and 76-75, fair except for perhaps the widest of the three, which wasn't quite an outrage, or at least isn't an outrage given boxing's scale of outrageous judging. BLH had it 76-75 for Arnett.
Arnett -- whose "Mr. I Am Orlando" nickname drew plenty of guffaws online -- had some trouble establishing any sort of dominance against a fighter who has in the past served as a key sparring partner for Paul Williams. Quarles (9-1-1, 2 KO) was able to sucker Arnett into eating right hands plenty, and when he was crowding the Watson twins-accompanied youngster, he was able to ugly up the fight a bit -- though it wasn't quite as ugly as the commentary made it sound, in my opinion -- and do some good work inside.
There is talent in Arnett, but he lacks physicality, and as pointed out by a few people, he still looks like a kid in the ring. He has a sort of amateur approach to his attack, and he'll need to change that, or the upside gets a lot lower. He's very young and still very, very early into his career, so the best one can hope here is that this fight serves as a learning experience. Quarles, 26, didn't make it easy, but Arnett deserved the win and got through it. Plenty of good fighters have had troublesome matchups at this stage.