Eddie Ramirez vs Kevin Watts, Leduan Barthelemy vs Nunez, Hernandez vs Urista
BY KID HERSH
From Nice California came PBC on FS1 Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays. First up was Leduan Barthelemy (10-0, 6KO's) vs Ricardo Nunez (28-5, 23KO's). Upon first glance this looked like a middleweight vs a featherweight but Nunez would impose his strength in the very first round. It was Barthelemy who did well off the bat by catching Nunez coming in but he was loading up on his shots so much and not stunning his man, so naturally Nunez made his way inside before the round was over and pressed Barthelemy against the ropes and around the ring. Nunez continued his success in the second round, playing spoiler already in a fight where he is supposed to just be an opponent. But Nunez works out at Durans gym in Panama against good opposition and you can tell he is not afraid and did come to be just an opponent. Barthelemy was able to finally create some distance in the third round. It wasn't super pretty, but he did use the ring and his legs to get some spacing and get his shots off first. He still cannot seem to get away from the right hand of Nunez though and is awkward - not in a good way but in an off balance way from the constant pressure of Nunez. Barthelemy is a very awkward fighter though, just like his older brother, because he suddenly in the second half of the fight did not look completely out of his element and despite expending tons of extra energy and taking hard shots he is ok with the style of fight that this happening. In fact, just like Virgil Hunter said, he is initiating this type of fight even though it is not to his advantage and appears to be losing a close fight. Right when I said that Barthelemy got tagged with a right hand in the sixth round that hurt him. He bent over instead of clinching but he was still able to withstand the pressure that Nunez brought for the remainder of the round as he got further pounded to the body and up top. The fight got ugly in the seventh round as Barthelemy was very tired and sloppy and once you combine that with his already awkward style you have yourself an ugly fight. Barthelemy closed out the show in the eighth round by having his best round since the first despite still being off balance to end it. Despite Nunez throwing more and landing more and being the aggressor and ring general the cards came in 77-75, 73-79, 77-75 for Barthelemy. I think this can safely be labelled a poor decision. Normally I do not go that far, it's very rare I say that (especially for a short eight rounder) but really I find it extremely hard to give Barthelemy much more than two rounds, three if you really really stretch. Good showing by Nunez - he should hold his head high.
Next up was Marcos Hernandez (8-0, 2KO's) vs Antonio Urista (7-1, 2KO's). In the first round Hernandez showed his superior skills and used his length to land shots and stay away from Urista. Urista was simply too slow and predictable. In the third round the fight turned into a war - a war that Hernandez was getting the better of due to Urista loading up on his punches and throwing one at a time but not landing them clean. This continued through the fourth round - again with Hernandez getting the better of the exchanges and just plain landing more punches at this point. The fifth round was a slugfest as both men gave what they got. Urista was looking the worse for wear - although more so than Hernandez punching harder I think it was simply due to conditioning. He also seemed to be frustrated, with his mouthpiece coming out for the third time in the fifth round as he was docked a point for the infraction. It must not have fit well though, because it was not really popping out from punches, or so it appeared. Going down the stretch Urista showed a fighting heart and great conditioning in not taking a step back or gassing out but he was simply outgunned by the better man as Hernandez won the unanimous decision.
Next up was the main event featuring two undefeated fighters in Kevin Watts (11-0, 4KO's) vs Eddie Ramirez (14-0, 9KO's). In the first round Watts started off by using his jab and setting up his punches well. Meanwhile, Ramirez was a bit more wild and aggressive, throwing flurries when he had Watts on the ropes. Not much was landing for Ramirez though except some good body shots in the first round. In the second round the relentless aggression of Ramirez would bite him in the ass as he got caught with a right hand when Watts was on the ropes. He did not see the punch and it dropped him. He rose and was not affected for long by it - showing that perhaps it was a bit more of a flash knockdown. He pressed his man to close the round and was more careful to keep his guard tight. In the third round Ramirez showed some potential frustration as he came out aggressive once again but then suddenly backed off the gas, giving ground to Watts who gladly obliged and stunned him with another right hand. Ramirez's chin is not looking too solid here as well as his body language. He is super aggressive to the point where he needs to back off and then back off the gas is exactly what he does but he is doing it in a manner that is losing him rounds and not showing mental toughness as he gives in to the other fighter right when he was doing well in the round. Its an odd thing to see. Ramirez would have his best round of the in the fifth when he applied steady but constant pressure to back up Watts and land punches. He has not hurt Watts yet but he appears to potentially be getting the upper hand, if not breaking him down a bit. Watts' output has dwindled ever since about the fourth and it continued that trend in the sixth round when he was literally running away from Ramirez - who is back to extreme pressure and it is working. Before the seventh round started it looked like Watts was going to throw in the towel but his trainer would talk him into answering the bell, only for him to fold a little over a minute later into the seventh round. Odd performance from Ramirez, who was super aggressive at times and then super vulnerable at other times.