Ramirez Outpoints Barthelemy and Vergil Ortiz Scores Another Fast KO in Fresno


By David A. Avila

Northern California favorite Jose Ramirez avoided an upset and knockout artist Vergil Ortiz destroyed his opponent on Saturday to set up a showdown with Australia’s power-punching Tim Tszyu.

After a 13-month layoff Ramirez (29-1, 18 KOs) shook off ring rust and avoided an upset by Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy (30-3-1, 15 KOs) in a battle between former world champions at Save Mart Center in Fresno.

It was Ramirez’s first bout under Golden Boy Promotions and he was nearly derailed by the slick counter-punching southpaw in the third and six rounds with laser left counters that connected every time. Though he was floored in the third round it was ruled a push down by referee Jack Reiss.

Fans gasped.

“He throws that left hand and I got hit with it in one round,” Ramirez said. “It motivated him.”

Once Ramirez figured out the remedy, he kept the fight inside and attacked the body and head. Barthelemy was unable to uncork one of his long lefts at close distance.

From the seventh round on the former super lightweight champion took control and kept the Cuban fighter against the ropes and unloaded shots to the body and head. He nearly forced a stoppage in the 11th round.

Barthelemy survived but all three judges scored it big for Ramirez after 12 rounds: 119-109 twice and 118-110.

Vergil KOs Number 21

Knowing a win sets up a massive showdown against Aussie slugger Tim Tszyu, the Texas slugger Vergil Ortiz (21-0, 21 KOs) wasted no time in blasting out Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme (26-7-1, 17 KOs) with a perfectly placed left hook to the body. Dulorme collapsed to the ground in agony.

Referee Tom Taylor stopped counting at 2:39 of the first round.

“It was a very calculated punch,” Ortiz said.

It was a commanding one round performance that sets up the showdown against the equally powerful Tszyu who despite losing a split decision to Sebastian Fundora last month by split decision, retains his reputation as a dangerous puncher.

Ortiz, who has 21 knockouts in 21 fights, will probably be fighting Tszyu in Los Angeles on June 1 if all negotiations go smoothly.

“Tim (Tszyu) I know you are watching the fight,” said Ortiz. “I’m ready. Let’s put on a great performance.”

Other Bouts

Oscar Duarte (27-2-1, 22 KOs) proved his knockout loss against Ryan Garcia would not stop him from improving as he defeated Jojo Diaz (33-6-1) by knockout at 2:32 of the ninth round in a super lightweight match. Referee Michael Margado wisely stopped the bludgeoning as a towel came flying in almost simultaneously.

It was the first time Diaz was ever defeated by knockout, though he never touched the canvas. It was also the first time Duarte trained with Robert Garcia and the difference was notable as he repeatedly walked through incoming fire and attacked the smaller fighter continuously.

“I want to fight the best in the world,” Duarte said.

Female Title Fight

A rematch battle for the flyweight championship saw Argentina’s Gabriela Alaniz (15-1) defeat Marlen Esparza (14-2) this time with a two-fisted attack to win by split decision after 10 rounds.

Esparza failed to make weight and walked in three pounds overweight and Alaniz took advantage to win the WBA, WBC, and WBO flyweight titles in the rematch. Once again the scores were puzzling but this time in favor of Alaniz 97-93, 96-94, and 92-98.

Alaniz now holds the WBO, WBA, WBC flyweight world titles.


Mexico’s Raul Curiel (15-0, 13 KOs) busted body shots on Jorge Marron Jr. (20-5-2) and floored him twice in the first round. The second body blow left Marron paralyzed and unable to continue at 1:31 of the first round as referee Thomas Taylor counted him out.

Curiel, who is managed by Frank Espinoza and son, proved he’s ready for the upper levels of the welterweight division.

“I think I’m ready for the bigger names,” Curiel said. “You see the results.”

Photo credit: Cris Esqueda / Golden Boy
O K Virgil keep your blood levels correct and you might get the following you lost on the scales and on the platform time will tell............