9/22/2017- Things heated up in a hurry in Tucson tonight as WBO featherweight boss Oscar Valdez Jr. (22-0-19K) and Genesis Servania (29-0-12K) let the boisterous crowd know right away they didn’t require a feeling out round. Valdez seems to want to hurt you with every shot he tosses your way and tonight he found a more than willing dance partner. Oscar’s calling card was a draining body attack that I expected would end his opponent’s night after a good 6-7 rounds but that was not the case. Both warriors showed plenty of resolve along with a fusillade of punches for twelve rounds that had the crowd on its feet almost from the start. Valdez does have a tendency to get a bit wreckless at times which is what happened in the fourth round. Retreating to the ropes, he exited to the his right but his left hand was low and Genesis assumed full advantage, dropping the champ with a big right hand, causing the crowd to hold its breath. Luckily for Oscar, it came at round’s end, as he was on shaky grounds.
In the next round, it was the champ’s turn as a short, sweet, left hook located Servania’s jaw and down he went. He wasn’t in as bad a shape as Valdez was earlier though and was able to get back in the mix. There was action galore in this pitched battle and luckily, both guys were up to the task. Servania always seemed a right hand away from making Valdez give up his belt. Time and again, during heated exchanges, Valdez would fire a little wide and Servania was there with short jolting shots inside Oscar’s looping shots. There weren’t many lulls in this one and there were several back and forth moments. Over the last three rounds, Valdez went into box mode and kept some space between him and the always dangerous Servania. I’m sure nobody would be upset if these two mentioned ‘rematch’ but I’d tell Oscar, ‘don’t do that until you really HAVE to’. Overall, a fine performance from both gladiators, sending the pro Valdez crowd out into the desert night on a good note, with the champ keeping his hardware.
In the semi main, in a battle for the WBO Super middleweight belt, unbeaten champ Gilberto (Zurdo) Ramirez 35-0-24K) only had a few moments of concern with Philly’s unbeaten Jesse Hart (22-0-18K). Now, I’m a diehard Philly boxing fan and I KNOW what a ‘Philly Fighter’ is and I don’t put Hart OR Willie Monroe Jr. in that group. In fact, the only ‘Philly fighter’ I liken Hart to, IS Monroe. They may have the pedigree but so did Marvis Frazier. Hart’s dad (Eugene Cyclone Hart)was a fearless, hard punching Philly warrior as was Willie (the worm) Monroe, but Hart and Monroe, Jr. AREN’T. When I read all the shit Hart was spewing about fulfilling his daddy’s dream of becoming a champion ( his dad never did) and saw he had a lotta’ ko’s on his slate, and knowing how Ramirez with his lead feet likes to just walk in, I expected fireworks from Hart.. Guess again, Don. For the first 6-7 rounds, Hart was either plastered against the ropes soaking up shit or skipping around the ring avoiding any type of major confrontations. Every now and then, when he tired of getting hit, Hart would fire back but ALWAYS one shot at a time and most times he didn’t really commit. He didn’t fight like a guy that KNEW he could punch and was always ready to bail. He’d land a good uppercut on the plodding Ramirez, slowing his roll but never put shots together, until the 8th or ninth rounds. Once, he wobbled Ramirez with a straight right, sending him stumbling backwards but Hart seemed as surprised as Ramirez was and in FACT was moving backwards himself. There’s nothing flashy or fancy about the southpaw Ramirez, not a hard guy to figure out at all. He did manage to drop Hart in the second round and had him in trouble a few other times. To me, Hart didn’t seem to want to ‘take’ the title, in fact afterwards said, “I was glad to go 12 rounds”. Actually I was, too, as his mouth was open as early as the fourth round. Hart staged an all out rally in the last two rounds, making me wonder why he started so damn late. He rocked Ramirez a few times over the last couple of rounds but never seemed wanting to ‘fulfill his life long dream’. Maybe next time