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Boxing News, January 5, 2007

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Huerta Can Still Dish Out Some Hurt
The Mexican Lightweight’s Comeback Continues



Telefutura closed another solid year with their 50th televised card, featuring lightweights Antonio Ramirez and Miguel Angel Huerta from Cicero Stadium in Cicero, Illinois. Ramirez was a late sub for Jose Miguel Cotto, who would’ve been considered a slight favorite and, indeed, a sterner test. As it happened, Huerta stopped this opponent at :01 of the sixth.

Huerta raised his record to 23-8-1 (16) while Ramirez fell to 24-13-6 (17).

The former was once world-ranked but, in 2003, not able to beat the likes of Victoriano Sosa or Julio Diaz. Yet he was good enough to follow those losses with wins against Rolando Reyes, Allan Vester, Roque Cassiani, and Marco Angel Perez—decent fighters a clear notch below the elite. If Huerta, 28, can string together some wins, he might once again be a contender.

The trajectory of Ramirez’s career is downward. He began auspiciously in the Dominican Republic, going 12-0-4 and even starching Victoriano Sosa in two. But since 1998 he’s been unable to win consistently and always loses to the name fighters he’s put in with.  This most recent loss makes it four in a row; granted, the others have been to The Ring’s lightweight champion Joel Casamayor or a come-backing Mike Anchondo—a slugfest in the Bronx that had the Latin fans on their feet for the nine rounds it lasted.

Even though Huerta has only fought twice in the last 15 months, he came out look sharp both on offense and defense.  His power was such that Ramirez was warned for holding and hitting after feeling “El Anestesista’s” power. A straight right rocked the wild-swinging Ramirez, and a short left dropped the opponent at the end of the round.

Through the fourth round, Huerta effectively countered with left hooks and straight rights. Ramirez is nothing if not tough, and he stalked his man in spite of the clean, hard punches he ate.

Huerta really let his hands go in the fifth. Straight rights wobbled Ramirez. Three clean shots with a few seconds left in the round deposited him on the canvas for the second time in the night.

More abuse came in the sixth and referee Geno Rodriguez halted the fight at the very end of the round.

For years, Oxnard (CA) has beckoned its most famous athlete, Fernando Vargas.  But as “El Feroz’s” career comes to an end, several other Mexican-American warriors wait in the wings. The best of them is lightweight Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, who, in beating the game Humberto Tapia via UD 8,  remains undefeated at 14-0 (9). Scores were: 79-73 twice and 78-74.

The fight was much closer than the scores indicate.

The two 20 year olds banged on the inside for the first three rounds.  Tapia, now 10-4-1 (8), hurt Rios with a straight right. Rios answered with hard uppercuts and crosses to take back control.

Everything clicked in the fifth for Rios, as he personified the maxim “hit and don’t get hit.” A bloody-nosed Tapia, however, was undeterred and kept coming forward. When Rios’ energy flagged in the sixth, Tapia went for the kill.

After a busy seventh, both corners implored their charges to take the eighth and final round. The fight appeared to hang in the balance. Tapia continued to pour it on in the final frame, but Rios held his own in many of the exchanges, making it close.

These are the type of fights a kid like Rios will grow from—battles that will test but not won’t break him. Let’s see if his handlers (manager is Cameron Dunkin, who works with seemingly every California-based prospect out there) can make good money with him but not prematurely feed him to the lions, as happened with Vargas.        

Off TV:
Coming in at his customary 164, 22-year-old Donovan George scored a TKO 4 over William Johnson, extending his win-streak to 11-0 (9).  They are matching the young George carefully; he has the looks and light-skinned complexion to put Chicago fannies in seats. From what I’ve seen, he’ll be lucky to be another Matt Vanda, another protected Midwestern white guy who’d be .500 if he were a black kid from Philly.

Middlweight Louis Turner scored a PTS 6 over Kendall Gould.

Middleweight Rudy Cisneros got a TKO 2 over Rudy Lovato.

Middleweight Richard Pierson scored a four-round PTS win over Guadalupe Diaz.

Welter Gustavo Palacios got a UD4 over Johnny Higgins.





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