By Rocky Morales and Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Reigning WBO super middleweight champ Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) made a hugely successful light heavyweight debut with a fourth round stoppage over sacrificial lamb Tommy Karpency (29-7-1, 18 KOs). In a battle of southpaws, Ramirez easily picked Karpency apart and it was basically target practice. Karpency initially put up some resistance but was visibly outclassed and once this was evident, his resistance lessened as he accepted his fate. Ramirez battered Karpency to the body and head and at Karpency did not come out for the fifth round thus making Ramirez the winner by knockout at 3:00 of the fourth round. With the victory, “Zurdo” likely becomes an instant top five light heavyweight contender, especially in the WBO against Kovalev given Ramirez is still the WBO 168 pound beltholder.
WBO #4 junior welterweight Arnold Barboza, Jr. (21-0, 8 KOs) looked extraordinary in dismantling and demolishing former world champ “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (40-5, 28 KOs). Barboza looked superior from the onset and had no problem picking apart the 38-year-old Alvarado who, despite a six fight winning streak over marginal competition, was a shell of his former self. Barboza, fighting behind a stiff jab, ripped uppercuts and body shots for the first two rounds before hurting Alvarado and putting him down with a vicious right cross, left hook combo. Despite Alvarado going down hard and flopping all over the ring while getting up, the referee seemed intent on allowing it to continue but, fortunately, Alvarado couldn’t even stand straight and was still falling over, forcing the referee to finally wave off the bout. By knockout victory at 0:49 of the third round, Barboza Jr. successfully defends his NABF title and, moreover, proves himself to be a legitimate threat to any champion at 140 pounds.
Kazakh middleweight Janibek Alimkhanuly (6-0, 2 KOs) won a one-sided unanimous decision over Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Diego in going the distance ten rounds. The southpaw Alimkhanuly worked the jab in the opening rounds as Olivas stood close and stalked early on. Alimkhanuly fought on the inside ripping Olivas with an uppercut in the third, snapping his head back. A right hook in the fourth by Alimkahanuly rocked Olivas but he continued to stay close. Halfway through in the sixth, the Kazakh once again connected with the uppercut as Olivas was still in close. It was all Alimkhanuly throughout the second half of the fight as he stayed in control mixing it up, working his way to a unanimous decision victory. Scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91.
Welterweight Ruben Rodriguez (6-0, 2 KOs) of Indio, California won a majority decision over Ramel Snegur (3-4-1, 2 KO’s) of Portland, Oregon. Rodriguez rocked Snegur twice in the opening round. Snegur was able to make it out of the first, in going the distance as Rodriguez worked his way to a four round unanimous decision. Scores were 39-37, 39-37, and 38-38.
Heavyweight Guido Vianello (3-0, 3KO) made quick work of his undersized opponent, Lawrence Gabriel (3-2-1, 2KO), landing a crushing right cross counterpunch to stun him and further batter him until the referee and Gabriel’s corner threw in the towel. Time of the stoppage was 0:49 of the first round of a scheduled six round contest. Vianello, a 2016 Italian Olympian, is also a police officer in his native Rome, Italy. The 24-year-old Vianello is trained by Abel Sanchez.
In opening bout action from Staples Center, WBA #1, IBF #5 welterweight Alexander Besputin, (13-0, 9 KOs) made the second successful defense of his USBA title with a near shutout over Alfredo Blanco (20-8, 11 KOs). It was a non-flashy workmanlike effort for Besputin, who favored precision punching over heavy volume. Neither fighter was seemingly hurt during the somewhat tedious bout. Judges scored it 100-90 (twice) and 99-91, all in favor of the Russian now fighting out of Oxnard, CA, Besputin.
In a scheduled four round lightweight walkout bout, Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (2-0, 2KO) was the knockout winner over game Kevin Luna (1-3, 1KO). Rodriguez badly hurt Luna midway through the second round, scoring a knockdown. A very wobbly legged Luna was able to get up and allowed to continue but then ate a perfectly placed short right cross on the kisser to put him down for good. Although Luna got up, he was in no condition to continue leading the referee to wave off the bout. Time of the stoppage was 2:59 of the second round.