Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN finished the year by hosting an event in San Antonio, Texas’ AT&T Stadium, home of the San Antonio Spurs. It was there that Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (43-0) scored a tenth-round TKO victory over the tough Yunieski Gonzalez (21-4).
These two light heavies did not hesitate and started the first round throwing heavy leather. The Mexican Ramirez was looking good and dictating the pace from the start. Things seemed like they were going his way until Gonzalez, from Cuba, landed a straight right hand that rocked Ramirez.
Suddenly, Gonzalez had Ramirez back-peddling, which raised some eyebrows within the arena. Ramirez seemed to get his legs back at the end of the round.
Gonzalez slowed down drastically in the second round, and “Zurdo” picked up on it. The right uppercut was landing clean while the left hook to the body was causing damage. The right jab by Ramirez was the punch that set all of it up from the beginning of the round.
Moving on to the third round, Ramirez pivoted great and used his feet well while spinning Gonzalez at different moments. A point was deducted from Gonzalez for holding, but he landed a big right hand that rocked Ramirez at the end of the round.
The fourth round had everyone on social media talking as Ramirez landed a left hook that seemed like it was the beginning of the end for Gonzalez. The funny thing was that Gonzalez moved forward while being hurt and landed a straight right hand which buzzed Ramirez. Both men went back and forth to the sound of the bell.
The action slowed down considerably in rounds five through seven as Zurdo seemed to control the fight by dominating with the right jab and keeping the distance far enough to avoid Gonzalez's big shots.
In rounds eight and nine, Ramirez found the right angles to land his shots while also focusing on the body as directed by his corner. You could see that Gonzalez was a flurry away from being stopped, and that's what happened in round ten.
Ramirez felt the end was near, so he increased his punch output and landed flurries until the referee jumped in and stopped the fight as Gonzalez wasn't throwing any punches.
Seniesa Estrada produces knockout of the year candidate
Some ready-made plans tend to get spoiled, so everyone tuned in to see what would happen.
From the very start, “Super Bad’s” opponent Maria Santizo (9-0) was in the fight and throwing big shots right there with the champion Estrada. It was a firefight, but in the third round, a crushing left hook landed and sent Santizo to the canvas for the fight's first knockdown.
Santizo stood up and was met with a big right hand that sent her stumbling across the ring.
After a big round three, Estrada went right back out there in round four, switched to southpaw, and landed an overhand left that knocked down Santizo and led to the referee calling the fight. Seniesa Estrada scored a fourth-round knockout which will probably go viral by the morning.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 19, 2021
Lamont Roach Jr. impresses in San Antonio.
It looked as though this fight had a lot riding on it for Lamont Roach Jr's (21-1-1) career prospects with Golden Boy Promotions. The company needed to see something from Roach Jr., and he indeed came through with a solid performance.
The 33 year-old Rene Alvarado (32-10) was undoubtedly game tonight, but it just wasn't enough. Roach Jr. was patient and made his punches count. He kept turning Alvarado all night, which set up some big counter left hooks.
In the fifth round, Roach Jr. kept landing some clean right hands, but Alvarado kept bringing the pressure.
In the middle to late rounds, Alvarado closed the distance, and there were some big bombs landed by both men. All three judges had it for Lamont Roach Jr., scoring 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.
After the fight, Roach Jr. spoke about his victory and future. “I feel good about this victory. I just beat a man who was a world champion two fights ago. This is the type of victory that I need to show that I am ready for a world title fight. Rene Alvarado is a warrior, a tough guy who I couldn't knockdown, but I feel we did our job today. I want the champion next, Roger Gutierrez.” NOTE: Gutierrez defeated Rene in January and August of 2021, each time by UD12.
Marlen Esparza dominates
When Anabel Ortiz (31-4) walked into the ring tonight, it was as the challenger and not the long-time Minimumweight Champion.
Ortiz moved up two weight classes to challenge the WBC Flyweight Champion Marlen Esparza (10-1), and the weight difference showed in this one.
Esparza dictated the pace from the start by pumping that left jab and following it up with the overhand right. Esparza was given a knockdown in the second and fourth rounds, clearly from a push and not a punch.
Ortiz was never able to get going, and the size difference was just too much. It went to the judges, and they saw this one 100-88, 95-94, and 99-90, all for the WBC Flyweight Champion Marlen Esparza.
Esparza had this to say about her fight tonight: “My performance was good considering I just came back after contracting Covid-19. I wanted to see what it would feel like to come back, and I can say that there is some fatigue. We knew she was a counter puncher, so we were prepared for it, but I can feel a little of the fatigue. Now that is all over, and I know what it feels to come back, I want all the belts. I want Naoko Fujioka from Japan and just unify this division.”
My Three Cents:
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez gave the type of performance to make fans tune into his fights. If the rumors are true and we get the Dmitry Bivol (19-0) fight next, it will be one of the more anticipated fights in 2022.
Speaking of performances, I think everyone is ready to see more of Seniesa Estrada. Her sensational knockout victory will be on social media feeds for the next few days.
If you are Golden Boy Promotions, you are thrilled with how this year ended for the company. Let's hope that momentum bleeds over to the new year.