Wins by former middleweight champion Paul Williams and lightweight Brandon Rios capped the weekend boxing events that also include victories by rising boxing stars in two major events in California and Atlantic City, NJ.
Williams got away wit a hairline victory over Cuban Erislandy Lara at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Lara clearly dominated the fight with his Martinez-style uppercuts that turned Williams face into a bloody mess.
Also in Atlantic City, NJ unbeaten Rico Ramos scored a surprise victory over WBA 122-pound titleholder Akifumi Shimoda with a devastating left hook in the seventh round.
Ramos was losing to Shimoda on points until Ramos ended what could have been a sure shot by Shimoda with his unexpected lucky punch.
In a toe-to-toe battle at the Home Depot Center, Rios knocked out Urbano Antillon twice in the third round and was counted out by the referee in the late round as Antillon hit the canvas face first.
Lightweight rising star Mercito Gesta of the Philippines scored a third round stoppage over Mexican Jorge Pimentel also at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Gesta's left and right combinations were just too much for the hapless Mexican who took the fight on a one-week notice.
Carlos Molina snatched a unanimous decision over former welterweight champion Kermit Cintron at the same venue in Carson. With only four defeats in his career, Molina has not lost in his last 12 fights. Molina is primed for major fights that could include a battle with middleweight contender Pawel Wolak or even the highly rated Saul Alvarez.
Meanwhile promoter Bob Arum said Top Rank's new find Mercito Gesta may see action again before the end of the year after the young undefeated Filipino trashed Jorge Pimentel in a display of speed and power that proved too much for the Mexican journey man. Arum mentioned Miguel Vasquez as Gesta's possible opponent.
Arum likewise dangled Bam Bam Rios for a shot at his No.1 cash cow Manny Pacquiao after noting Rios' impressive win over former Pacquiao sparring partner Urbano Antillon last Saturday.
Major fights next weekend include, Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Licar Ramos, Brian Viloria vs. Julio Cesar Miranda and Ricky Burns and Nicky Cook, among others.