In the pay-per-view opener, unbeaten welterweight contender Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) grinded out a hard fought majority decision over Abel Ramos (27-6-2, 21 KOs) in a 12-round WBC Title Eliminator. With final scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112, the difference in the fight turned out to be an 11th round knockdown for Ramos that was later overturned after a replay review by the Nevada State Athletic Commission before the 12th round.
“I knew it wasn’t a knockdown but they started counting,” said Crowley, who earned the victory on his 30th birthday Saturday night. “That’s why we have the review.”
“It was a good fight against a tough opponent, just like we expected, but I feel that I was robbed with that knockdown,” said Ramos. “The ref told us that they were going to review it, and I guess it’s a technicality, but he went down. It’s like when the rope catches you. They call that a knockdown. So why wouldn’t this be?”
Crowley, who was fighting in honor of his late father who took his own life last year and who was raising money for suicide prevention leading into the fight, followed through on his promise from the event buildup and immediately began crowding Ramos relentlessly beginning in round two. Throughout the fight the two fighters combined to throw nearly 1,000 power punches.
“He was tougher than I thought,” said Crowley. “He’s a veteran for a reason. He’s been in some exciting fights and he knows how to sit down and brace for the shots and he knows how to throw the Hail Mary’s. Hell of a fight. Hats off to Ramos. I prayed for him to have a good sleep so he could come out and have a good performance and I think he slept like a baby last night.”
Despite the pressure, Ramos continued to grind and throw counter power shots to Crowley’s body and head in hopes of breaking down his aggressive opponent. After struggling to find an effective distance for much of the fight, Ramos appeared to find that range in round 10.
Midway through round 11, Ramos connected on a counter right hand that buckled Crowley. Following up moments later, Ramos landed another powerful right hand that hurt Crowley in what was initially ruled a knockdown by referee Robert Hoyle, who thought that Crowley’s glove had hit the canvas.
“At first, I felt that he was getting tired so I wanted to try to catch him on the inside,” said Ramos. “But that’s what he wanted. He started headbutting and pushing me a lot. We got away from that but I think we did it a little bit too late. Once we made the adjustment and started moving around and using our distance, that’s when I caught him with that shot and knocked him down.”
Following the commission review between rounds, the knockdown was removed from the scorecards moments before the bell rang for round 12. After securing the victory, Crowley again offered inspirational words as he had throughout the lead up to fight night.
“For anyone who’s thinking of taking their own life and doesn’t want to be here, I’m proof that you can keep fighting and you will win,” said Crowley. “I worked my whole entire life for this opportunity. The last few years, I didn’t want to live because I couldn’t get my shot, fights been getting canceled. I’ve been training since July. I’ve been broke. I wanted to take my own life and I didn’t and my dad did. And if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today.. Now, I’m the No. 1 mandatory for the WBC and I’ve earned my title shot. Within 12 months, I’ll be fighting for the WBC title.”
Prior to the pay-per-view, the SHOWTIME PPV COUNTDOWN SHOW streamed live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and was topped by unbeaten super bantamweight contender Kevin Gonzalez (26-0-1, 13 KOs) earning a unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) after 10-rounds of action against Colombia’s Jose Sanmartin (34-7-1, 21 KOs).
The live streaming presentation also saw Cuban contender Orestes Velazquez (7-0, 6 KOs) keep his unbeaten record intact with a unanimous decision victory over Argentina’s Marcelino Lopez (37-3-1, 22 KOs) by boxing effectively across 10 super lightweight rounds to earn the nod by scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93.
The event was promoted by TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing.
Veteran sportscaster Brian Custer hosted the SHOWTIME PPV telecast while versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo handled blow-by-blow action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares. Three Hall of Famers rounded out the telecast team – Emmy® award winning reporter Jim Gray, world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., and boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial scorer. Four-time Emmy award winner David Dinkins, Jr. executive-produced the telecast with Bob Dunphy, son of Hall of Fame boxing announcer Don Dunphy, directing. Sportscaster Alejandro Luna called the action in Spanish on Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) with former world champion and SHOBOX: The New Generation® commentator Raúl “El Diamante” Marquez serving as the expert analyst.
The SHOWTIME PPV COUNTDOWN show was hosted by award-winning MORNING KOMBAT live digital talk show hosts Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell, who also serves as an analyst alongside Marquez on SHOBOX®.
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