Beverly Hills, CALIFORNIA – In a clash of junior featherweight prospects, Rudy Garcia outboxed Rafael Gramajo over eight rounds to win by unanimous decision at The Hilton.
With the victory, Garcia improved to 10-0 (1 KO).
Both fighters were coming off long layoffs. Gramajo hadn’t fought since scoring a unanimous decision over Victor Ruiz on June 1, while Garcia last fought on Oct. 12, defeating David Perez over six rounds.
After splitting the first two rounds, the 22-year-old Garcia began to assert himself, slipping and countering with right hands to the head. Gramajo’s punches were wider and lacked snap, and it was Garcia who was the more effective fighter in the middle rounds.
Sensing he was behind, Gramajo chose to close the distance between the two but was repeatedly tagged by the more accurate Garcia. Even as Gramajo initiated exchanges, Garcia’s counter punching and composure stood out during the last two rounds.
Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 79-73 for Garcia, who resides in the Los Angeles area.
“I feel good (with the win),” said Garcia after the fight. “It’s my first eight-rounder. I’m going to learn a lot from this fight. I have a lot to improve on.”
Gramajo, who is originally from Garden City, Kansas and now resides in Los Angeles, drops to 10-2-2 (2 KOs).
The bout headlined a four-bout 10th Annual ‘Big Fighters, Big Cause’ card, which was co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and B. Riley FBR.
“It’s an honor to fight on a card hosted by Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya,” Garcia said. “I looked up to these legends. I learned from them through (videos), so it’s an honor.”
Proceeds from Wednesday’s card, which included a silent auction on signed sports merchandise and a live auction, go to support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and their mission to fund research, care and awareness for pediatric type 1 and 2 diabetes, along with helping children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.
“We cannot defeat diabetes alone,” Leonard told The Ring prior to Wednesday’s card. “It takes teamwork. This is just like a boxing match. It takes an incredible corner. You may think it’s ‘Mano a Mano’ and you have to do everything yourself. But I have a team to try and defeat diabetes through the graciousness of sponsors and through auctions throughout the evening.”
Junior middleweight Brandyn Lynch (9-1, 7 KOs) stopped Donnis Reed in the second round.
With his uncle, actor Eddie Murphy, sitting at ringside, Lynch was on the offensive from the opening bell. He momentarily staggered his man with an overhand right to the temple late in Round 1, but Reed survived.
Lynch did not let up in the second, closing the gap and connecting with overhand rights and left hooks. One right to the head again staggered Reed, prompting Lynch to follow up and referee Rudy Barragan stopped the bout at 1:25.
Junior middleweight Chris Ousley defeated Derio Chapman (3-4-1, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision over four rounds.
Ousley outboxed and outworked the southpaw Chapman, who looked exhausted in the final two rounds. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Ousley, who improves to 10-0 (8 KOs).
Heavyweight Amir Elsaey defeated Ryan Long (1-1) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Elsaey, who improves to 2-0, 1 KO.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October 2013. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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