Undefeated rising super featherweight contender Mario Barrios (16-0, 8 KOs) defeated former title challenger Devis Boschiero (39-5-1, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision (120-107 X 3) in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes from Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
From the opening bell, Barrios asserted himself as the aggressor, landing his jab at will and finding his distance early.
Barrios said, “Initially my game plan was to work the jab and see what would open (Boschiero) up. But as the rounds went by he didn’t seem like he was going to come at me. He just didn’t seem to want any action.”
A very tall super featherweight at more than six feet, the 21-year-old Barrios proved difficult for the stocky Boschiero to reach. However, near the end of the second round, the experienced Italian found a rare opening and landed several punches that briefly put Barrios on his heels.
In round three, Barrios regained control and coasted throughout the middle rounds, largely due to Boschiero’s hesitation to engage.
“It was pretty frustrating. I came out to put on a show for the fans, and unfortunately, it seemed like my opponent was just trying to survive,” said Barrios. “I can try to press the fight all I want, but if he doesn’t want to fight it’s not going to happen.”
Boschiero, who challenged for a world title in 2011, added, “I had trouble finding my range tonight. He was tougher to hit than I expected.”
In round 12, Barrios scored the only knockdown of the fight, but Boschiero was able to get back to his feet and used the final seconds of the fight to execute his best combination of the night.
“I got to him in the final round,” said Boschiero. “But the opportunities were there when they weren’t in previous rounds.”
A victorious Barrios said, “This was my first 12-round fight, and it felt good to get the experience, I just wanted more intense action. But an ESPN main event takes my career to the next level. I’m just hoping for my shot at the title.”
Televised coverage kicked off with undefeated prospect Eddie Ramirez (14-0, 9 KOs) handily defeating Californian contender Jessie Roman (20-3, 9 KOs) by unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91 X 2) in a 10-round super lightweight showdown.
Ramirez, a Chicago Golden Gloves champion, settled in early and controlled the bout from the outset. Ramirez said, “I felt like I was in control and like I was getting hit a lot less than he was.”
In the third frame, the fighters locked up for a thrilling exchange on the ropes, Ramirez landing the harder of the punches.
A frustrated Roman said, “He was landing a lot of combinations, but he never hurt me.”
Ramirez opened up the fourth round with a furious flurry, but Roman fought back with a hard left hook of his own, shocking Ramirez.
“He did catch me with a couple of clean hooks when I let my defense down,” acknowledged Ramirez. “That was my fault, but nothing that hurt me very bad.”
The middle stages of the fight saw Ramirez, the busier more precise fighter, steadily distance himself on the judges’ scorecards.
“I was prepared for tonight because I had a really long training camp,” said Ramirez. “I’ve been ready to fight since mid-June. I was just in great shape.”
Roman didn’t seem as game and admitted, “I gassed out a little bit in the end. I haven’t fought in a year and I think some of my struggles tonight were due to that. My timing was off a little bit too.”
Roman didn’t give up though, landing a barrage of shots near the close of round nine, reminding Ramirez that he was in for a fight. However, it was too little too late as Ramirez coasted to a comfortable victory.
Ramirez concluded, “”Fighting on ESPN is like a dream come true. As an amateur, I always envisioned myself on this network. So this feels like a great accomplishment, and I’m leaving with a lot of new fans tonight.”