Undefeated Californian Rico Ramos produced a world-class left hand in the seventh round of his WBA title challenge against Japan’s Akifumi Shimoda to rip the belt away from the older southpaw in his first defence. The 24 year-old looked far from a world champion in the first five rounds, only gaining a foothold in the fight in round six, but ultimately produced the equalizer in the seventh to take the crown.
Shimoda, 26, will be furious with himself as he bossed the majority of the fight and was up five rounds to one on my card going into the seventh round. One lapse in concentration with only thirty seconds left in round seven and Shimoda hit the canvas. The champion tried to get up at the count of nine, but stumbled over and the referee counted him out. The now former champion stayed down for a full minute before being helped to his feet and realising he no longer held the WBA belt.
Also on the card in Atlantic City, heavyweight Chris Arreola produced a lacklustre display against a podgy Friday Ahunanya, but still comfortably took nine rounds of the ten to improve to 33-2 and edge closer to another world title challenge. The 30 year-old has kept himself trim and busy in recent months in a bid to be considered as a genuine challenger, but will have to pick it up based on this performance.