Pay-per-view action on the Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola bill saw sensational unbeaten super welterweight Sebastian Fundora win a close-quarters war via fourth-round stoppage over Jorge “El Demonio” Cota in their WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator.
“I’m extremely grateful to fight in front of the fans tonight,” said Fundora. “It was fun to hear the cheers, the boos, and everything. I’m honored to be in this position.”
Fundora and Cota stood toe-to-toe from the opening bell, throwing big punches and marking each other early. Fundora landed 29 and 28 power punches in the first two rounds, with Cota connecting on 15 and 17.
“It was a good trading fight,” said Fundora. “We were hitting each other, but my punches were doing more damage, and that’s why the referee eventually stepped in. I think he could have been stopped earlier in the round. I just kept fighting until the end.”
The fight was fought at close range for 90% of the action, with each fighter showing off impressive in-fighting skills. Fundora was able to up his work rate significantly in the third and fourth rounds, landing 42 punches in each, every single one a power shot.
The fourth round saw Fundora breakthrough with a big shot that appeared to daze Cota finally. Fundora pushed forward aggressively to look to send Cota down, while Cota was still able to wing his own power shots despite his impaired state.
“I saw his leg wobble in the first round, but he took it and kept coming,” said Fundora. “The second time I saw it, I knew I had to go for the kill.”
A final powerful left hook that Fundora landed finally prompted referee Ray Corona to stop the bout at 2:35 of the fourth round. Cota disagreed with the stoppage, while Fundora set his sights on future big fights in the 154-pound division.
“It was a bad stoppage,” said Cota. “I felt like they stopped the fight early considering I had just landed a big punch. Too fast, too soon. The fans expressed their feelings. They were clearly upset by how the fight ended. That’s why I raised my hands. There is plenty more of Cota to come in the future.”
“My message to the rest of the division is that we’re here,” said Fundora. “If you’re ready for war, we’re ready to take it. Bring it on.”
In the pay-per-view opener, rising star Jesus Ramos Jr. (16-0, 14 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Mexican Olympian Javier Molina (22-4, 9 KOs) after 10 rounds of welterweight action.
“It was my second time going the distance, and that’s what we wanted,” said Ramos. “We love knockouts, but we’re glad at this point in my career that I got the experience. I thank Molina for taking the fight. He’s a great fighter.”
Facing his toughest competition to date, the 20-year-old Ramos imposed his physicality from the outset, peppering Molina with jabs and following up with hard left hands. Ramos mixed in shots to the body as the fight went on, holding a 68 to 11 advantage in body shots landed.
“I might have been looking for a knockout too much in the early rounds,” said Ramos. “I got used to it, and I settled down, and I felt like I was breaking him down little by little. He was trying to survive a little bit, so it made it harder to get the knockout.
“My father told me to invite him to come to me. We were pressuring him to start. My dad had me change it up. He came in a little bit, but then he backed off. That’s how I tried to counteract his movement.”
Molina found some success with counter hooks, although he was unable to hurt his opponent seriously. Referee Gerard White deemed some of Molina’s shots were hitting Ramos in the back of the head and deducted a point late in the seventh round.
“I was sad because I lost, but this was a good fight against an aggressive opponent,” said Molina. “I couldn’t let him pressure me. The weight was a factor for me. I definitely felt the size difference.”
Ramos held the overall edge in the punch stats and was the busier fighter throughout, landing Molina 135 to 77. After 10 rounds, all three judges saw the fight in favor of Ramos, by scores of 97-92 and 99-90 twice.
“I learned a lot today,” said Ramos. “I’m going to keep building on that. I feel like I have a lot of momentum. It was a big step up for me, and I feel like I showed a lot. I showed I have good conditioning and good movement along with my power.”