PBC on FOX Leo Santa Cruz vs Chris Avalos, Abner Mares vs Andres Gutierrez, and Eddie Ramirez vs Antonio DeMarco
BY KID HERSH
PBC on FOX from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, featured a night of featherweights.
First up on the card was Eddie Ramirez (17-0, 11KO's) vs Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1, 23KO's). The referee was Gerard White. In the first round DeMarco came out aggressive and appeared to buzz Ramirez early in the fight, causing him to back up. Ramirez did not appear to be extremely hurt though as he was throwing punches in return and trying to buy time. Demarco continued the heavy pressure though, like a smart veteran knowing that he had the upper hand in a fight where this was one of the best ways he could win (via early stoppage) and he pushed Ramirez into a corner and continued throwing power punches. He buzzed Ramirez again and then referee White stepped in and called a halt to the bout. I thought it was egregiously early to stop the fight and an absolutely terrible stoppage, as evidenced by Ramirez being noticeably fine as he protested the stoppage. Surprisingly the announcers did not even mention one time that it could have been an early stoppage!
Abner Mares (30-2-1, 15KO's) vs Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25KO's). The referee was Jack Reiss. The first round was all Mares as he had a high output and was hitting the mark nonstop with both right hands and left hooks. Gutierrez was very calm and plodding forward, not looking affected by the shots at all but one had to wonder how he was going to mix it up because despite the high output of Mares he was fighting at his own pace while hitting the mark so he could likely fight this way all night long. Mares had another great round in the second as his overhand right caused a cut to open on Gutierrez to cause further problems as blood flowed into his left eye. The third round was more of the same as Mares was really having his way with the plodding Gutierrez. Mares continued his target practice but then suddenly one had to wonder in the fifth round if perhaps the tides were turning. In the fifth round Gutierrez managed to land some jabs and force Mares into clinches from his constant pressure for the first time in the fight. Mares was still of course winning by a landslide but could the tough guy Gutierrez come out in the long run with stamina and fortitude? We will have to see. Mares continued the target practice (maybe I can stop saying that lol) in the coming rounds while Gutierrez was still ploddig forward and landing very few punches of note. Gutierrez had a mask of blood over his face as the rounds wore on but he was not getting discouraged surprisingly; he just does not have the tools or punch to change the course of the fight and is forced to bank on Mares gassing out which does not appear to be something that will come to fruition. In the tenth round the blood was literally pouring out of Gutierrez's face and so Jack Reiss had the doctor take a look at his cut at which point the fight was stopped. The fight was stopped but it was surprisingly not a TKO victory as the final ruling went to a technical decision due to “accidental fouls that caused Andres Gutierrez to be unable to continue” with Mares winning the decision. Great win for Mares as he put on a masterclass performance.
Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18KO's) vs Chris Avalos (27-5, 20KO's). The referee was Thomas Taylor. In the first round Sergio Mora was describing Avalos's "granite chin" as it was getting hit and at the end of the round appeared to be slightly cracked from a powerful combination by Santa Cruz. Again in the second round we were reminded of the "granite chin" of Avalos as it was tested and already a bit shaky from the avalanche of punches by El Terremoto. It was more of the same until in the fourth round Santa Cruz unloaded everything he had on Avalos - who surprisingly made it through the round with Mora reminding us of his granite chin. I would offer up that perhaps it is due to Santa Cruz being a volume puncher and not a power puncher, however, but in any case Avalos continued through the coming rounds as Santa Cruz's output dropped. Avalos did not have a lot to offer but Santa Cruz appeared to buying time, recovering some energy, in the mid rounds. Then midway through the eighth round referee Thomas Taylor decided to step in and end the fight as Avalos was getting tagged and despite not looking like he was going to go anywhere he simply is not going to win this fight.