ESPN Gilberto Ramirez vs Habib Ahmed and Jerwin Ancajas vs Israel Gonzalez
BY KID HERSH
ESPN Top Rank boxing from Corpus Christi, Texas, featured a card stacked with prospects as well as challengers and world champions. After a late start we only got to see the co-main event and main event.
Next up was the pre main event featuring Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1, 18 KO's) vs Israel Gonzalez (20-1, 8 KO's). The referee was Rafael Ramos. In the first round we had fireworks early when Ancajas landed a powerful left hand that dropped Gonzalez less than a minute into the round. Gonzalez rose and did not appear hurt as he finished out the round just fine - although careful with the heavy handed Filipino in front of him. In the second round Ancajas was sitting back, picking his spots to fire off his long range stiff jab and also spots to launch his powerful left hand. Gonzalez was not having much success other than occasional right hands. Unfortunately for Gonzalez though he does not appear to have the power to win this fight with his current fighting style - he is going to have to get much more busy with his shots. Ancajas continued being the ring general with Gonzalez upping his aggression and work rate in the fifth round while trying to change the tide of the fight. Gonzalez was showing a very good chin and heart as he continued trying to do his best but was simply getting outgunned by the stronger champion. Ancajas continued mostly dominating the fight with his flashy, powerful punches that were landing every thirty seconds or so. He was not catching Gonzalez perfectly flush or catching him with punches that Gonzalez could not see - so they were not heavily damaging him - although Gonzalez also appears to have a good chin on him. Ancajas also had too fast of hands for Gonzalez - who was not slow himself but Ancajas is simply lightning when he wants to be. In the tenth round Ancajas finally caught Gonzalez with just the right punches, putting him on the canvas a first time and then catching him with a punch of the year/knockout of the year contender as he landed a wide, almost looping left hand from the outside that caught Gonzalez and put him down for the second and last time. Ancajas is really a rising star and resembles Manny Pacquiao quite a bit - who was his idol growing up.
Main event time featuring Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez (36-0, 24 KO's) vs Habib Ahmed (22-0-1, 17 KO's). The referee was Laurence Cole. In the first round Ramirez was coming forward and landing his punches, although he was not landing flush because Ahmed was proving to be jsut cagey enough on defense to not allow Zurdo to land completely flush. In the second round it was still a bit of a chess match, with Zurdo pressing forward and looking for openings while Ahmed would answer with flurries to send Ramirez back and quell his offense. In the third round Ramirez suffered a cut above his left eye that caused quit a bit of blood to flow down his face from an accidental head butt. The blood seemed to spurn on Ramirez - who went very offensive and hurt Ahmed with power punches to the head. Ramirez continued catching Ahmed with beautiful, powerful punches - in particular right hooks to the chin. In the fifth round Ramirez was beating Ahmed around the ring with right hooks and left hands and had him hurt numerous times but appeared to let him off the hook. He was biding his time but it makes one wonder if he was doing it a bit too much because he had his man stumbling around the ring but was simply waltzing towards him and still really picking his spots to punch. It was a little interesting because on one side I can see minimizing risk and the fact that you have an entire fight left still basically, but on the other end why doesn't he just take the guy out? In the sixth round Ahmed was literally running away from Zurdo, who poured on the body damage and then got the stoppage by going to the head. Ramirez really is not a great finisher though - it took him a looooong time to take out his very hurt man.