by Pedro Fernandez

Incredibly gutsy is the best way to describe Rafael Ruelas' performance in a losing effort to Kostya Tsyzu on Saturday night.

In the main event of an AMERICA PRESENTS PPV card, Tsyzu hammered Rafael from beginning to end, as well as from pillar to post. This one sided action continued until Ruelas' trainer Joe Goossen had seen enough and stopped the fight in the ninth round.

Having known the Ruelas Bros. since their debuting days under the Ten Goose coop in Reseda, CA, it was a typical Rafael Ruelas performance. Never high on balance or Sugar Ray Leonard like moves, Rafael who would of liked to have worked off Kostya's chest, never really connected with anything that seemed to bother Russian who now lives Down Under in Australia.

Pound for pound, Kostya once again showed why he considered one of the most heavy handed guys fighting for pay today with power shots coming from both sides. And his 17 stops in 21 wins makes that painfully clear for the opposition.

Besides almost going horizontal in that opening frame, Rafael almost went down again in the eighth round. Only his "huge" stones would keep him upright until Goossen intervened.

By winning, Tsyzu, now 21-1-1, (17 Ko's) will now face Miguel Angel Gonzalez for the vacant WBC 140 lb. crown later this year. Ruelas who must seriously contemplate calling it quits at 27, falters to 52-4, (42 KO's).


In the main support, WBC 126 lb. (featherweight) champion Luisito Espinosa was on the verge of being pushed off a cliff last night by upstart challenger Juan Carlos Ramirez until referee Lawrence Cole stopped the bout in the 11th round after what he ruled was an unintentional clash of heads, caused Espinosa a large gash above his left eye.

Going to the cards, Luisito was up 106-104, and 105-104, while the third official had Ramirez in front 106-104.

Espinosa, a former WBA bantamweight (118 lbs) who had not fought since December, looked sluggish and was tiring as Juan Carlos was coming on. "He butted me. He came in dirty with his head" said Ramirez, a Mexican and the partisan favorite in El Paso.

Speaking of the crowd, they too felt that Espinosa butted the young challenger intentionally. As the blood flowed, the ring began to fill with debris. Soon thereafter, referee Lawrence Cole stopped the fight.

It looked to me like Espinosa was on his way to getting drilled before the butt. So how lucky was Espinosa that the clash of heads occurred you ask? "He should have that cut bronzed" said legendary scribe Pat Putnam.

Espinosa is now 48-7, while Ramirez loses for the first time in 15 tries. AMERICA PRESENTS promoter Dan Goossen said during an appearance on Ring Talk Sunday had this to say when I suggested the WBC would mandate a rematch.

"It doesn't take the WBC to step in for a rematch. I think it was a good close fight. I want to promote a rematch as soon as Juan Carlos' cut heals."


The island of Tonga has in it's history had only one Olympic Medalist, And that is Wolfgramm, the mammoth 1996 Silver Medal winner. So whenever he fights, movement on the south pacific isle comes to a halt.

The tiny country had a cause to celebrate Saturday as Wolfgramm won an eight round decision over Cuban defector Jorge Luis Gonzalez on the Tsyzu-Ruelas undercard. The 315 lb. Tongan simply outworked the 257 lb. former world amateur champion throughout the eight round fight.

Wolfgramm is now 17-1. The 6'7 Gonzalez loses for the fifth time in 30 fights.


19 year old Hector Camacho Jr. posted a fourth round knockout on the undercard to boost his pro slate to 17-0. Looking like his father in days gone by, Hector Jr. flashed both incredible hand and foot speed enroute to haling Margarito Navarro in the fourth round of a junior welterweight scrap.


Kirino Garcia is a young man with a story behind him. The world rated pugilist is now 19-19-1. Now that may seem like an horrid record for a "world rated" fighter, but you see Kirino lost his first 17 bouts! Saturday night, Kirino was a decision winner in a junior middleweight contest on the AMERICA PRESENTS PPV event.

Pedro Fernandez

The writer has his own web site at fighters.com and can be reached at flash@inow.com

Note: If you are a "real" boxing fan and you missed Ring Talk, which airs Saturday and Sunday on the Talk America Radio Network(s) at 11:06 PM ET with LIVE Internet audio at www.talkamerica.com you might want to consult a pugilistic analyst.

The guests you missed out on were IBF and world flyweight champion Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson announced his September 4, fight on ESPN. Undefeated prospects and former amateur stars Willie Jorrin, and Travis Simms, both in action this week. And in the second hour of the two hour Saturday show, unbeaten #1 ranked IBF 154 lb. contender Fernando Vargas took phone calls and answered e mail.

On the one hour Sunday edition of Ring Talk which airs on Talk America "2" aka "The Deuce" Ring Talk talked with promoters Dino Duva of Main Events, and Dan Goossen of AMERICA PRESENTS.

There is a difference between Talk "1" and Talk "2. " Both networks have LIVE Internet audio available at www.talkamerica.com

Join the fastest growing group on the radio airwaves and in cyberspace. I'm talking about the Ring Talk family of listeners. Ring Talk, the "insider's look into the world of boxing" is NOW in it's 12th year! Where have you been?

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