November 4, 2016 - 11:32 pm
The main event matchup between Andy Vences and Casey Ramos was a classic case of boxer versus puncher.
The puncher prevailed Friday in a back-and-forth lightweight fight at the TI. Vences recorded a unanimous technical decision (87-84, 86-85, 88-83) against Ramos after the fight was stopped in the ninth round.
Ramos had a large cut under his left eye that got worse after a headbutt 1:12 into the ninth round. The medical team was forced to stop the bout.
Vences (17-0, 10 knockouts) started fast and enticed Ramos (23-1, 6 KOs) into a brawl. Vences busted Ramos’ nose in the seventh round with power right hands and left hooks.
In the co-main event, rising junior welterweight Alex Saucedo took care of business in a unanimous decision (77-74, 77-74, 76-75) over RaySerrano, but it wasn’t Saucedo’s best performance.
Saucedo, coached by the reigning trainer of the year, Abel Sanchez, took plenty of punishment. Saucedo and Serrano traded blows in the final round as the crowd stood on its feet.
Saucedo, 22, took control of the early rounds with his left jab to set up his right-handed power punches. Serrano (21-4, 9 KOs) got a second wind in the seventh round, as he hurt Saucedo (23-0, 14 KOs) with combinations to the head.
Exciting super middleweight contender Jesse Hart recorded a third-round technical knockout against Andrew Hernandez. Hart dropped Hernandez with a left uppercut in the first round and landed a barrage of punches in the third to force the referee to end the bout.
In the first bout, Steve Nelson delivered a vicious right-handed knockout punch to defeat Reyes Diaz in the second round.
Nelson’s good friend, Terence Crawford, was in attendance, and the unified junior welterweight champion had a big smile after the win. Nelson and Crawford grew up together in Omaha, Nebraska.
Three world titles will be up for grabs before Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas hit the ring Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Rising Mexican fighter Oscar Valdez (21-0, 18 knockouts) will make his first WBO featherweight title defense against Japan’s Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19 KOs).
“Anyone can be a champion, but only the great ones can defend their title,” Valdez said. “I want to be a champion for a long time.”
Valdez, who is drawing comparisons to Erik Morales, is coming off a knockout victory against Matias Rueda to win the vacant belt in July at the MGM Grand. Valdez has a devastating left hook and is not afraid to come out swinging in the first round.
Osawa is unknown in the U.S, but he’s impressed the WBO enough to make him the No. 1 mandatory challenger.
The most competitive bout on the undercard is Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) versus Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) for the WBO junior featherweight belt.
Donaire became a four-division champion for his aggressive approach in the ring, but the veteran fighter said he’s going to be a defensive fighter Saturday.
Magdaleno isn’t buying it and said he expects a brawl. Magdaleno, who grew up in Las Vegas, is fighting for his first world title shot.
In the pay-per-view opener, Chinese superstar Zou Shiming (8-1, 2 KOs) will fight Thailand’s Prasitak Phaprom (39-1-2, 24 KOs) for the vacant WBO flyweight championship.
Shiming, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, defeated Phaprom by unanimous decision in 2014.
Contact Gilbert Manzano at email@example.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.
Nov. 18: Knockout Night at the D, Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, 6 p.m., CBSSN
Nov. 19: Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev, T-Mobile Arena, 6 p.m., HBO PPV
Nov. 26: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Nicholas Walters, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 7 p.m., HBO
Jan. 28: Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz, MGM Grand, TBD, Showtime