Mexico’s Eduardo Ramirez and Panama’s Bryan De Gracia were fighting on about even terms for eight-plus rounds in tonight’s Showtime opener, and then pretty suddenly, it was over.
The fight got off to something of a slow start in the first few rounds, with nobody landing particularly clean shots. But De Gracia turned up the heat starting in the fourth round, giving us a bit more excitement as he began to fight more urgently.
In the ninth, Ramirez (22-1-3, 9 KO) caught De Gracia (24-2-1, 20 KO) with a right uppercut from the southpaw stance, staggering De Gracia, who then tried to cover up as Ramirez plowed forward with a wild flurry of punches.
When Ramirez backed off a bit, he saw De Gracia come off the ropes still on bad legs, and went on the attack again, landing a couple of clean shots and pushing De Gracia back to the ropes, where referee Benjy Esteves stepped in for the stoppage at 2:10 of the ninth round.
One could reasonably argue that Esteves may have given the hook a bit early, and De Gracia did argue. At the time of the stoppage, two judges had De Gracia ahead, 77-75, with the third card even, 76-76. BLH had the fight 76-76 on one card, and 78-74 De Gracia on another.
The fight came together on short notice, but it was a big one for both men. Not only was it a chance to show their skills in Brooklyn on Showtime, but it was for the WBA “gold” featherweight title, and with it a place at the front of the line for a shot at Can Xu, who holds the WBA’s secondary “world” featherweight title. (Leo Santa Cruz holds the organization’s “super world” title in the division.)