Amy Green (ringside)
Oklahoma City– Saturday night the Chesapeake Arena in downtown Oklahoma City traded hoops for boxing gloves as Top Rank Promotions brought boxing to town, which was televised by ESPN. Approximately 5,500 fans attended and locals turned out in force to see OKC native Alex Saucedo return to his hometown, in what turned out to be possibly, the fight of the year against Leonardo Zappavigna of Australia.
Main Event: Gilberto Ramirez, Mazatlan, Mexico (38-0, 25 KO) retained the WBO super middleweight title with an uneventful win over Alexis Angulo, (23-1, 20 KO), Bogota, Colombia. Ramirez was in control of the twelve round bout, with Angulo catching him hard with two right hands in the third, often using his head in close quarters, and making Ramirez work a little more, but never quite bringing out the fight in him, with the action paling in comparison to the Saucedo/Zappavigna spectacle. Boos rang out as the fight ended and judges scored the bout 119-109 , 119-109 and 120-108. Ramirez acknowledged in his post fight remarks that he would like to unify titles against better known names (James DeGale, David Benavidez), and is more than ready for their challenge.
Fight of the year: Oklahoma City native Alex Saucedo (28-0, 18 KO) and Leonardo Zappavigna, Australia, (37-4, 27 KO) engaged in a bloody, remarkable, highlight reel fight. Adjectives barely do this battle justice. Action was hard and fast from the beginning bell. Zappavigna was cut in the second round, then dropped in the third. Fourth round drama was wild, with Saucedo being rocked and cut, with Zappavigna getting the upper hand in that measure. There was no lull in the action, not one second where all eyes weren’t glued to the increasingly bloody battle, with both fighters hammering away. The sixth round everything and everyone in the ring were covered with blood, with Zappavigna’s eyes worsening, and the ring doctor paying the damage close attention as the round ended. Saucedo was relentless for the remainder of the fight, beating Zappavigna’s left eye closed and heaping more damage on the cut over his right eye. The seventh round saw an end to the battle, with Zappavigna’s corner throwing in the towel, and referee Gerald Ritter made it the official end at 2 minutes and 31 seconds.
Preliminary bouts offered bantamweights Aaron Morales, Oklahoma City (3-0, 2 KO) who won by unanimous decision over David Martinez, of San Felipe, Mexico (5-5, 5 KO) and Super featherweight Christopher Zavala was successful in his pro debut as he dropped Tyler Pacheco, Abilene, TX, (1-2) en route to a unanimous decision victory.
The action continued, with a welterweight struggle between former WBO interim junior welter weight champion Mike Alvarado, Denver, Colorado (39-4, 27 KO) and Martin Angel Martinez, Empalme, Mexico (17-15-1, 11 KO). Alvarado earned a ninth round TKO in a tough fought victory. Both Alvarado and Martinez suffered cuts, with Alvarado looking every bit 38 years old, often making himself a target for the game Martinez, who was successful in the middle rounds, and buzzed Alvarado with a hard right hand. A third round cut to Martinez’s left eye developed to a gash, which prompted referee Mike England to stop the fight and not allow him to enter the ring for the tenth round.
Son of former WBO Heavyweight Champion Tommy Morrison, Trey Lippe Morrison of Tulsa, Oklahoma, dropped Byron Polley, St. Joseph, Missouri (30-23-1, 13 KO) five times in three rounds during a one sided heavyweight contest, and improved his record to 15-0 (15). Polley, though extremely over matched, refused to go down easily. He wobbled to his feet four out of the five times until Morrison put him down the last time at 1:28 of the third round. Referee Mike England decided enough was definitely enough and stopped the fight, with Polley flat out on the canvas.
Undefeated Olympian Mikeala Mayer, Los Angeles, California, (5-0, 3 KO) and Sheena Kaine, (5-1), Edmonton, Canada went the distance in a six round lightweight bout. Kaine was dropped by Mayer in round two with a great overhand right, and the Olympian never looked back. Mayer outworked Kaine, showing speed, composure and accuracy, and easily won the bout with all three judges scoring the fight 60-53.
Talented super featherweight and 2016 Olympian Robson Conceicao, (8-0, 5 KO) , Brazil, knocked out Gavino Guaman, (5-3, 1 KO) of River Falls, Wisconsin. Guaman was floored four three times- in the first round and twice in the second by the precise, strong and well placed combinations of Conceicao.
About the Editor
Army Veteran and former Professional Boxer Simon Ruvalcaba started boxing at the age of ten and Had a 71 fight amateur career which featured a 139 lbs. 1998 8th U.S. Army Boxing Championship out of Camp Casey, Korea and a spot on the prestigious Army Boxing Team at Fort Hood, TX. After a journeyman pro career of 18 fights, which included sparring sessions with many champions and contenders including Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Simon started writing and has contributed to many publications and websites including fighthype.com, pound4pound.com, Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) and also writes a monthly boxing column for Tahoeonstage.com. He has also been the Boxing Instructor for Ken Shamrock and The Lions Den and was UFC star Paige VanZant’s first boxing coach!
Born and Raised in South Lake Tahoe, California he now resides in Sun Valley, Nevada and spends as much time as possible with his Son Gabriel! Beyond boxing, Simon is an all around sports fanatic and is passionate about the teams that he roots for!