Local boxing hero from Avenal Jose Ramirez returned to the Save Mart Center on Friday night to defend his junior welterweight title against San Diego native Antonio Orozco. Ramirez successfully retained the belt after a 119-107 unanimous decision.
Both Ramirez and Orozco came out firing from the opening bell. The boxers traded some good shots and neither fighter seemed to win the first round convincingly.
Ramirez landed a big left hook that stuns Orozco early in the second round, but Orozco weathered the storm.
The kid from Avenal was more of the aggressor in the second round, but even so, Orozco landed several crosses to Ramirez’s head. They just didn’t seem to do any damage, exhibiting Ramirez’s reputation for a strong jaw and ability to take some punishment.
He was able to keep Orozco from getting too close with the left jab, taking advantage of his slight reach advantage.
In round three, Ramirez took more control of the fight and really worked Orozco’s body with uppercuts. Each punch he landed sent the adoring crowd into a greater frenzy than the last.
Ramirez landed a huge right handed cross to Orozco’s jaw to send the San Diego native crashing to the mat. Somehow Orozco mustered the strength to return to his feet as the referee reached a nine count.
Despite the home crowd decidedly in Ramirez’s favor, chanting “Jose, Jose!” he was unable to finish Orozco in the fourth round. Through four rounds, Ramirez appeared to have won 3 and Orozco 1.
Neither fighter landed any shots of real consequence and round six was pretty even. Orozco did seem to suffer a cut above his eyes.
In the seventh, Ramirez landed a huge left hand to Orozco for his second knockdown of the fight and another point from the judges.
Ramirez continued to attack and easily won the eighth round, although he didn’t land that one big shot like in round four and six.
Orozco landed more quality punches in the 10th round and won it decisively. Ramirez did land a few shots to the body. Not enough to win the round.
Ramirez landed a few good shots in the 12th round but Orozco needed to score a knockout to win. He had no chance on points.
Ramirez clearly had the edge in punches thrown and landed, according to the electronic punch calculator CompuBox.
He landed 381 of the 1,036 punches he threw including 259 power punches to Orozco’s 185.
Orozco did enough to gain the respect of Ramirez, as Ramirez indicated after the fight.
“Antonio Orozco is a true warrior. He wouldn’t stay down,” Ramirez said.
In the other bouts on the main card, Fresno native and featherweight Isidro Ochoa defeated Elio De Jesus by knockout in the third round. Ochoa now boasts a record of 6-0 with 2 knockouts.
Jamel Herring defeated John Moralde by unanimous decision after 10 rounds to win the vacant USBA 130 title belt. Herring improves his career record to 18-2 while Moralde dropped to 20-2.