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Jesus Ramos Jr. defeats Brian Mendoza by wide decision


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Another weight class, same result.

Jesus Ramos, fighting for the first time as a full-fledged junior middleweight, defeated Brian Mendoza by a unanimous decision in a 10-round bout Sunday night at The Armory in Minneapolis.

Mendoza (19-2, 13 KOs) was a puzzle for Ramos (17-0, 14 KOs) in the first several rounds, when he used his feet to stay out of Ramos’ punching range and landed some eye-catching shots. However, by around Round 4, Ramos, fighting patiently, closed the distance and began to land consistently to the head and body.

Mendoza was competitive throughout but was outworked by Ramos and took far more punishment than the winner, particularly in the final few rounds. Thus, all three judges had the same score: 98-92, eight rounds to two.

Ramos, who had built a reputation as a knockout artist, has now won consecutive fights by decision. He outpointed Javier Molina in May.

“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. …

“I started breaking him down and I started going to the body and touching him a lot more. 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.”

Ramos, only 20, has been a welterweight contender but evidently will campaign as a junior middleweight going forward. He wants to win a world title before he turns 22. However, for now, he just intends to stay busy.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to get back in the ring once more this year and finish out strong,” he said. “I’ll talk to my team and we’ll go from there.”

In the co-main event, lightweight Starling Castillo (16-0, 12 KOs) defeated Juan Carlos Burgos (34-6-2, 21 KOs) by a unanimous decision in a 10-rounder.

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