Sammy Vasquez vs Luis Collazo, Ugas vs Ghvamichava, Karl vs Ramirez, Borrego vs Mendez
BY KID HERSH
Thursday night PBC boxing on FS1 from the Horseshoe Casino and Hotel in Mississippi had a great card stacked with talent. The venue was an "intimate" one, I would say, that had a good look and feel as it had a balcony area but it was very close to the ring. Small in size but close quarters for some fighting which is always a great thing since there was not a bad seat in the house.
Jose M Borrego (10-0, 9KO's) vs Tomas Mendez (23-8, 16KO's) was first up and boy was it a mismatch from the start as the young gun slammed home a left hook immediately that stood up Mendez straight. He continued nailing Mendez with everything and the kitchen sink, sinking in right hand leads as well as more left hooks. Borrego showed great timing and also feinting as he just couldn't miss. He hurt Mendez multiple times until he took him out near the end of the round with a beautiful left hook to the liver. Mendez took the full count and Borrego has now officially burst onto the scene.
Ryan "Cowboy" Karl (13-0, 9KO's) vs Eddie Ramirez (15-0, 10KO's) was next up in a rare matchup between undefeated prospects. IN the first round Ramirez got off to a hot start, lighting up Karl with jabs and right hands that the Cowboy was walking right into. Karl just kept coming, despite getting hurt in the first minute of the fight from a big right hand but eventually seemed to wake up in the second half of the first round after backing Ramirez into a corner and getting his right hand going. He was telegraphing it to start but got it going behind a jab to get it moving. In the second round Ramirez came out and blasted Karl around the ring, nearly taking him out but seeming to gas a bit and revert to boxing Karl. Karl looked very one dimensional throwing 1-2s that Ramirez saw coming. Then in the third round Karl seemed to get the upper hand finally with his extreme pressure as Ramirez looked a bit tired in the ring. Karl was still having issues landing flush punches consistently but his aggression seems to be finally working in his favor. In the fourth round Ramirez came out pressing Karl back but then reverted to giving ground and counterpunching. It was a tough round to score as Karl is working his way back into the fight but still clearly having issues with Ramirez, and also having far too leaky of a defense as he stands and admires his work when he does land. The fifth and sixth rounds were Karl rounds as he has again worked his way into the fight with Ramirez breathing heavily. Ramirez is still landing great punches in spots but it seems to me that while he does great in bursts he is not breathing correctly because then suddenly he will be out of breath and taxed immediately after hurting Karl with a burst of punches. The seventh round was a contender for round of the year as Karl got beat up early on and cut over the right eye but again came back to press Ramirez around the ring and land his own punches. What a fight! In the eighth round Karl was looking beat up for the first time in the fight now. His stamina and conditioning have been great thus far for the punishment he has taken but nobody can endure the punches he has forever. He legitimately looked like a fighter that has been through and hell and back. The ninth round was very similar to the eighth and it looked like Karl had had all he could take, which was the case as the fight was stopped before the tenth and final round. Ramirez's corner was yelling "the real cowboy" in the post fight to rub it in a bit. They started these antics well before the fight when they were calling Ramirez the real cowboy in the physical exams. Awesome fight and a contender for fight of the year - maybe prospect fight of the year - or round of the year for round 7 when Karl seemed to put it all on the line in going for the win.
Yordenis Ugas (17-3, 8KO's) vs Levan Ghvamichava (17-2-1, 13KO's) was next up and in the first round Ugas established himself well. He started off walking The Wolf into punches and putting in great body shots that cracked in a grimacing way, By the end of the first Ugas was landing right hands flush. In the second round it was Ugas coming forward and just brutalizing The Wolfs body. He had a smirk on his face like he had him figured out and it did seem like everything was being dictated by Ugas. A fight broke out in the third, with The Wolf realizing that he had to go forward to win and it was turning into one of those fights where both men were doing well but The Wolf has to put lots of effort while Ugas seems like he isn't even trying hard despite being in a real fight. Ugas was really loading up on his punches and was landing them - mostly vicious body shots still but The Wolf is taking everything well thus far. The fight continued in much the same pattern, with a good battle going on and Ugas getting a point deduction after he was warned for low blows for the fourth time. I believe the first few warnings were mostly due to The Wolf cuffing him behind the head but in any case some have indeed strayed low. Ugas really closed the show in the tenth and final round as a war broke out, with both men landing some of their best punches. It was a great fight but unfortunately we had Rocky III right before it so it just couldn't possibly match up. Solid technical fight that turned into a bit of a brawl though.
Sammy Vasquez Jr (21-1, 15KO's) vs Luis Collazo (36-7, 19KO's). In the first round Vasquez showed great movement - something missing in his last bout against Diaz. Collazo was coming forward but having a hard time finding the mark. This continued into the second round as Sammy was circling Collazo beautifully and landing his jab as well as left hands. Collazo was still having a very difficult time finding the mark but looking like he was going to continue ramping up the pressure. In the third round Sammy turned up the pressure after he seemed to hurt Collazo with a right hand and gave him a cut but he ended up taking a right hand from Collazo that put him on the canvas. He was really hurt, taking the count, but rose and made it through the round. In the fourth round we had ourselves yet another war on this card as Sammy came forward and banged away with Collazo on the ropes. Collazo was using his vast experience to parry and slip shots and burst out with his own combinations and cut Vasquez as both men were bleeding and throwing punches in bunches. Collazo definitely does not look past it! In the fifth round Collazo moved around the ring and seemed to either be taking a round off or trying to frustrate Vasquez with movement but in any case he was not throwing combinations like in the previous rounds. Vasquez, meanwhile, has seemed to forget about the body - which he is typically great at punishing. Then in the sixth round we got a contender for knockout of the year when Collazo landed a beauty of a right uppercut to the exposed chin of Vasquez. The shot put him down in pieces and out for the count.