FS1 results: Jamal James outlasts Abel Ramos
Jamal “Shango” James was given a test by Abel Ramos on Friday night but outboxed him enough to earn a majority decision (96-94 twice, 95-95) victory in front of his home crowd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The fight was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card televised on FS1.
There hadn’t been boxing at The Armory, in downtown Minneapolis, in well over 40 years, and there was plenty of support there for the 29-year-old welterweight contender. James, 23-1 (10), quickly gave those fans something to cheer about in the opening round by outboxing Ramos into oblivion. The way the first three minutes went, it seemed like James was untouchable but, just after landing a pair of big right hands midway through the second, Ramos changed everything with a beautiful left hand counter. James was wobbled badly and, a few seconds later, fumbled to the canvas in what could’ve been ruled a knockdown by referee Mark Nelson. James may’ve caught a break but there wasn’t going to be any given by the visitor from Casa Grande, Arizona.
Ramos, 18-3-2 (13), had trouble rallying off that big second round immediately, however, and it took a round for James to really get his legs back. However from the fourth round on, “Shango” found the jab, got his distance back down and went right back to outboxing him like he did in the opening round. James had really good upper body movement that kept Ramos guessing, entering the middle rounds, and, working off the jab, his straight right hand was landing often upstairs. By the fifth, Ramos, 26, started swelling beneath his left eye and, although he was never in dire straits, his attack wasn’t as effective. That was until Ramos started focusing his offense on the body of James, who had the height and reach advantage. In the eighth, Ramos seemed to hurt him with a big left to the liver but James managed to land a big right by the end of a bad round, sparking a crowd ooh-ing and ah-ing at the dramatic action in the final two rounds. Ramos relentlessly came forward the rest of the way, as both men breathed heavily to the very end. Although he commanded the end of the fight, Ramos fell short on the cards but gave James a wealth of experience in the win.
James notches his third victory since his only defeat to Yordenis Ugas in August 2016, and that string of fights is comprised of solid names: JoJo Dan, Diego Chaves and now Abel Ramos.
Lightweight Edner Cherry overcame a slow start to earn a unanimous decision (97-93, 96-94 twice) over Dennis Galarza after 10 rounds of lightweight action.
Fighting in his 17th year as a pro, Cherry, 37-7-2 (19), used every trick in the veteran handbook to get himself back into a fight that seemed to slip away in the opening round. Galarza, 16-3 (9), stunned Cherry with several right hands, in the first, and had the 35-year-old resorting to some tactics to prolong a break in action. Up until the fourth, Cherry wanted to make the fight ugly, and even scraped some elbows on Galarza’s head to frustrate him. In the fifth, Cherry suddenly controlled the fight with a hurried, offensive pace on the inside that may’ve exposed Galarza’s weakness. A big left hook in the sixth ignited a Cherry rally and managed to buckle Galarza’s legs in the seventh. Galarza, 25, had to dig deep to keep himself from flat-out fading and, after showing some resistance in the eighth, the fight seemed up in the air heading into the final two rounds. There Cherry outworked Galarza for a definitive victory.
Joey Spencer had a sensational outing after dropping Ousmane Sylla three times in the first round to earn a knockout victory. The junior middleweight contest was scheduled for four.
Spencer, 2-0 (2), scored a knockdown with the very first punch he threw, a left hook that sent Sylla crashing to his backside. Sylla, 1-3-1 (1), got up on shaky legs but well in time to beat the referee’s count. Spencer pounced in with his first jab and Ousmane was back on the canvas, looking at his corner as he got up, as if they needed to tell him what to do. Once action resumed, Sylla might as well have been put on a tee, as Spencer found another big left hook that crashed him to the mat a final time. Fighting out of Union City, California, Spencer, 18, took advantage of the spotlight in only his second pro bout.
Sebastian Fundora forced a fifth round stoppage of Ve Shawn Owens to end an entertaining fight of unusual proportions. The junior middleweight contest was scheduled for eight.
Standing 6-foot-6, Fundora, 9-0 (5), towered over Owens, who was a mere 5-foot-10 but, fighting in front of a hometown crowd, he got off to a hot start. Owens, 26, focused on Fundora’s body and let his hands go right away on the inside. Fundora, 20, took the shots well, all things considered, and patiently waited for his moment to strike. Owens seemed to punch himself out midway through the first and that’s when Fundora ignited a back-and-forth war.
Owens, 9-1 (9), seemed spent after the first round, and dead in the water for the second, in which Fundora continued to unleash uppercuts on the inside. A pair of right hands at the end of the third from Owens inspired the crowd and himself but, once Fundora started to land more and more, a knockout was looming, with Owens fighting sloppily. Fundora, West Palm Beach, Florida, had a knack for fighting on the inside, despite the crazy height and reach differential, and his short combinations started to pepper Owens around the ring in the fifth. Owens was tough as nails but the referee prevented him from being tough for his own good, once waving it off while Owens was still standing.
In the opening bout of the FS1 card, Chris Colbert dominated Austin Dulay for seven rounds, earning a stoppage win, once referee Mark Nelson waved it off before the eighth and final round of the junior lightweight contest.
Fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, Colbert, 8-0 (3), looked flawless against a fellow unbeaten opponent, and was able to showcase some quick hands as a reminder. The 21-year-old popped his jab on his toes in the opening round, and proceeded to do the same in the second from the southpaw position. Dulay, 11-1 (8), was so far behind, thanks to Colbert’s speed, the only reaction he’d have to a quick one-two to his face was a smirk that resembled somewhat of a compliment. The 22-year-old seemed lost, at times, and shook his head in frustration in the sixth round, moments before getting dropped by a left hand to the side of his head. After the seventh, Nelson checked in with Dulay’s corner, and felt as though Dulay wasn’t willing to continue. The judgment call was to Dulay’s dismay but it was the right one after getting blown out.