Ramos, Colbert, Crowley Win on Benavidez-Plant Undercard

Jesus Ramos announced himself as a contender in the junior middleweight division with a dominant stoppage win over previously undefeated Joey Spencer in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Fighting in the chief support bout for the super middleweight clash between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs) dropped Spencer in the first round with a short left hook and teed off on his opponent repeatedly over the course of the contest. While Spencer proved resilient and determined, his corner threw in the towel at 1:25 of the seventh round. 

“He’s a great fighter, with a lot of heart,” said Ramos afterward. But the punch stats underlined Ramos’ dominance: he landed 147 of 317 power punches and 25 of 96 jabs for a total connect percentage of 42%. In contrast, Spencer (16-1, 10 KOs), connected at just a 14% rate, landing 48 of 355 punches thrown.

In lightweight action, Chris Colbert recovered from a knockdown in the first 25 seconds of the fight to score a razor-thin but unanimous 10 round decision win over Jose Valenzuela that was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  

In a fight in which both men were coming off the first defeats of their pro careers, Valenzuela (12-2, 8 KOs) dropped Colbert, 17-1 (6 KOs), with a left hand that sent him tumbling; the 22-year-old from Los Mochis, Mexico also hurt his opponent several times more during the course of the contest, including in the final seconds of the last round. But Colbert withstood Valenzuela’s power punches and, switching repeatedly from orthodox to southpaw and back again, walked forward and rattled combinations off his opponent’s head. 

Each man appeared to be taking turns to win rounds down the stretch; even so, Valenzuela looked set to be declared a narrow winner. However, all three judges scored the contest 114-113 for the American, prompting a postfight confrontation between the two boxers, with Valenzuela insisting he won the bout and Colbert chiding him as a “bad loser.”

In the pay-per-view opener, welterweight Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) remained unbeaten with a majority decision win over Abel Ramos that featured the use of ringside instant replay to negate an eleventh-round knockdown call.

Crowley began the fight pressing Ramos, 27-6-2 (21 KOs), to the ropes, smothering him and firing punches in close as Ramos struggled to find room to respond. Ramos was able to find space to counter for a few rounds as Colbert showed the first signs of fatigue, but then Crowley adjusted, using uppercuts to seize the advantage anew. And once more deny Ramos room to punch. The fight moved into the open more in the latter rounds, and in the eleventh, Crowley walked into a pair of counters from Ramos, the second of which buckled his knees and appeared to cause his glove to touch the canvas. Referee Robert Hoyle called it a knockdown, but Nevada permits the use of instant replay for such instances and ringside official Jay Nady informed Hoyle that the glove had not quite touched. 

After 12 rounds, the three judges returned a verdict of a majority win for Crowley by scores of 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112.

Crowley, emotional following the victory in what was his first fight since his father committed suicide last year, tearfully declared afterward that, “Anybody who wants to take their own life, who doesn’t want to be here, I am the proof that it is possible to fight on and still win.”

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