A weekend spotlighting more belts than an Old Navy outlet and what if the Rams had played to their strength?

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Boxing

The crowd at the newly renamed Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson got their money’s worth over the weekend.

Welterweights Mario Barrios (23-0, 15 KO’s) and Richard Zamora (19-3, 12 KO’s) laced them up for a scheduled 10-rounder…”scheduled” being the key word.

After getting their distance and timing in the first two frames, they dialed up the violence.

…the referee saw the danger in continuing and called a halt to the competition.

Throwing flurries from hip to head in Round 4, Barrios pressed the action. Zamora was in deep trouble, but he’s as tough as a 60-cent steak. Despite the pummeling he would not go down.

Thankfully the referee saw the danger in continuing and called a halt to the competition.

Good call, ref.

***

Super Featherweight Gervonta Davis was stripped of a title in 2017, when he couldn’t make weight for his fight with Francisco Fonseca.

During that bout Fonseca stymied Davis and offered more opposition than expected.

A frustrated Davis punched Fonseca in the back of the head and then pushed him to the canvas.

In a hat-trick of ineptitude the referee ignored the fouls, didn’t call either penalty and counted Fonseca out on the floor.

Davis later tried to deny any illegal actions. But when shown the replay, he stated he “knew” that the punch had no ill effect and implied Fonseca was faking.

In April of last year Davis fought Jesus Cuellar for the WBA World title.

This time Davis was in excellent shape, and he put Cuellar away in Round 3. To his credit, Davis was gracious in the post-fight interview.

Saturday, in the first defense of that title, Davis faced journeyman Hugo Ruiz…but not for long.

Southpaw Davis picked his shots and threw punches in bunches. He trapped Ruiz in the corner and unloaded. Ruiz dropped to a knee.

He beat the count but his beak was broken and bleeding profusely. The referee saw the “Gone Fishing” signs in Ruiz’s eyes and called a stop to the campaign.

Another good call, by another good ref.

Davis stated he will fight at least three more times this year and he wants to fight in his hometown of Boston. 

However, promoter Floyd Mayweather said Davis would fight an exhibition bout in Japan against the same weak, little Q-tip shaped kicker boxer that Mayweather destroyed in a “farce for finances” on New Year’s Eve.

It was an embarrassment.

***

Three belts were on the line in Fresno.

The Super Bantamweight match for a WBC title between Genesis Servania and Carlos Castro went the distance with Castro (22-0, 9 KO’s) winning by a lopsided unanimous decision.

Jose Carlos Ramirez (24-0, 16 KO’s) retained his WBC World Super Lightweight title by squeaking out a majority decision over Jose Zepeda.

The best bout on the card featured Raymundo Beltran and undefeated Hiroki Okada in a battle for two vacant “alphabet-belts.” And the leather flew.

In the opening frame Okada was sent south on a left hook, only to get up and land an overhand right that nearly dropped Beltran.

In a highly entertaining bout, eight-rounds were filled with gritty give-and-take…until Okada had finally taken too much of what Beltran had to give.

Halfway through Round 9, Raymundo landed a chopping right. Okada crashed to the canvas.

He got up, but Beltran swarmed him until Okada’s corner wisely tossed in the towel.

Beltran takes the titles and improves to 37-8-1, with 22-knockouts.

LIII epilogue

Out of all the things written to me about the Rams Super Bowl loss, Jim from “Delfino Vineyards” (owner and chairman of the Bordeaux) gets the award for funniest, and best “fallback game plan.”

Jim states, “The Rams should have punted on every 1st down to let the defense have more chance for interceptions and returns.”

Given the offense’s inability to move the ball, I agree.

Punting deep would have kept the ball much closer to the Patriots goal post and improved L.A.’s possibilities for scoring.

It’s funny…but worth a try.

God Bless and always have a fallback game plan.

Mark Felicetti apologizes for misspelling “Alicia Keys” and he thanks music journalist Paul Grein (HITS Daily Double, Muck Rack, The Tolucan Times) for his eagle-eye. Reach Mark at mark@tolucantimes.com.  

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