The undefeated 20-year-old sensation dominates the hard-punching Mendoza in his 154-pound debut on a Sunday edition of FOX PBC Fight Night.
Jesus Ramos likes wearing a belying smile. It fools people. Just like his age. The southpaw is only 20, which belies his ring maturity. Once that bell rings, the smirk remains, as if Ramos connotes something he already knows—he’s going to win.
Fighting for the first time at 154 pounds, Ramos’ prescience surfaced again. He made an emphatic entry into the division with an impressive 10-round unanimous decision over 27-year-old Brian Mendoza on Sunday night in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night from The Armory, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Judges Robert Hecko, Mike Fitzgerald and Patrick Morley each had it 98-92 for Ramos (17-0, 14 KOs).
“I felt strong in there,” Ramos said. “I have to go back and look at the tape and see what I did wrong, but I fought with a lot of energy. He caught me with some good punches early on, so I knew I was going to have to take my time with him.
“Hopefully I'll be able to get back in the ring once more this year and finish out strong. I'll talk to my team and we'll go from there.”
Early on, Ramos stalked Mendoza (19-2, 13 KOs). Ramos had no problem sitting in the pocket and pecking at Mendoza, who kept moving right to make Ramos reach more with his southpaw jab.
Mendoza showed no fear. He was on his toes, with his hands down. Ramos stayed within his game plan of coming forward. By the fourth, Ramos was cutting off the ring and forcing Mendoza into the ropes.
Past the midway point, Mendoza entered survival mode, unable to do anything to challenge Ramos, who landed a looping right hook to the side of Mendoza’s head with :21 left in the sixth. By the seventh, Mendoza wasn’t moving as well and Ramos was asserting his command.
Referee Mark Nelson kept telling Mendoza, “Keep your hands free,” since Mendoza was fatigued and began holding excessively. Mendoza looked flat, causing Nelson to take a closer look at the exchanges. Through eight, Ramos had landed 81 power punches to a mere 32 for Mendoza. Through the first seven rounds, Ramos landed 65 punches. In the eighth and ninth rounds combined, he connected on 66.
The fight was completely lopsided by the time the final bell rang.
“I started breaking him down and I started going to the body and touching him a lot more,” Ramos said. “He was a strong dude with a good team behind him. I knew he was going to come prepared and I liked the competitiveness he brought.
“He started to break a lot more as the fight went on. I was coming on really strong. I thought I might have been able to stop him in some of those later rounds, but he was motivated to go the distance.”
Starling Castillo takes a unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos
Castillo (16-0, 12 KOs) won it by varying degrees on the scorecards of judges Robert Hecko (97-93), Mike Fitzgerald (96-94) and Josef Mason (98-92).
“I'm very thankful to my whole team for this opportunity to showcase my work tonight,” Castillo said. “We gave everyone a good fight today and I showed what I can do in the future.
“We always train to go the whole distance. The hard work and everything we did in the gym showed up in the ring today. I was able to display my boxing ability and how I can fight well in the middle distance.
“We're always working hard and I'm always ready to face the best. I want the opportunity sooner rather than later, but whenever it presents itself, I'll be ready.”
Burgos had his moments although it wasn’t enough. With about :40 left in the second, Burgos (34-6-2, 21 KOs) connected with a blind, wild left that caught Castillo on the jaw. About eight seconds later, Burgos did it again. After that snafu, Castillo took over. He fought inside. He fought outside. He used his length, and his southpaw style to catch Burgos on angles.
It was competitive. Burgos pushed Castillo. He backed Castillo up. But Burgoswasn’t effective burrowing forward with his head down. Castillo would smack him without seeing the shots coming at him.
Castillo boxed more late yet the two stood their ground in the last round, each giving as good as they got.
Marcos Hernandez pulls the upset over Armando Resendiz
Middleweight Marcos “Madman” Hernandez had not won a fight in two years. It didn’t mean the 6-foot, 28-year-old wasn’t dangerous. Hernandez used every bit of his height advantage over 5-10 Armando Resendiz, pecking away with an effective jab in scoring a unanimous 10-round upset decision.
It marked the first victory for the light-punching Hernandez (15-4-2, 3 KOs) since July 2019, while it meant the first pro loss for 22-year-old Resendiz (12-1, 8 KOs).
With :15 left in the second, referee Mark Nelson ruled Resendiz was knocked down after Hernandez splashed a left to the face and a grazing right. A replay seemed to show Hernandez pushing down Resendiz, who wasn’t in trouble and was smiling as Nelson counted.
Even so, Hernandez controlled much of the action. In the seventh, he bounced a left hook off of Resendiz’s head. Resendiz, coming out and feeling urgent, got nailed four times to start the ninth. Resendiz tried hard again to come at Hernandez in the 10th. But the veteran kept catching Resendiz as he closed in. Judge Mike Fitzgerald had it 97-92 for Hernandez, while judges Josef Mason and Patrick Morley each had it 96-93 for Hernandez.
“The key for me is that I've been fighting good opposition for my last 13 fights,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been fighting tough competition from the beginning. I've been going toe-to-toe with good prospects for a while and I beat one today.
“I've gone from prospect to veteran in a short period of time. I was definitely the biggest test that Resendiz had faced and it showed. If you fight me as your first test, it's going to be a long night for you.
“He was a very good and tough fighter, but I was faster and I knew what he was going to do. I'd watched his last fight because it was against someone I used to train with. I just felt like there were just things that I could do better than him.”
Junior welterweight Justin Cardona (6-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated with a sixth-round decision over Jomar Robles (2-2, 1 KOs), junior middleweight Travon Marshall (3-0, 2 KOs) stopped Maycon De Silva (0-3) in at 1:03 in the second round of a scheduled four-rounder, and junior featherweight Michael Angeletti (4-0, 3 KOs) finished Alexis Salido (2-1, 1 KO) at 2:24 of the third in a scheduled four-rounder.
For a closer look at Ramos vs Mendoza, check out our fight night page.