Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
A loco night at Oklahoma‘s WinStar Casino in Thackerville gave rise to two extraordinary undercard fights as Baltimore Ravens safety Tommy ‘The Big’ Zbikowski, who could end up enjoying an extended foray in boxing because of the current ambiguity over the next NFL season due to the lockout, knocked out Blake Warner in two minutes while Casey Ramos decisioned John Jackson after leaving him hanging off the ropes in a weird fourth round.
Tommy Z received a good round of applause as he embarked on his walk to the ring to engage in a four round cruiserweight contest. His opponent, Blake Warner, appeared to have excess weight around the midriff and despite having a home-state advantage, failed to attract a home crowd reception.
Zbikowski, who seems intent on boxing as often as possible after taking his third bout in six weeks, barely broke a sweat as he kayoed Warner just two minutes and twenty seconds into the opening round. Z was a class above Warner who was overpowered and overwhelmed by the incoming rights.
Warner, midway through the round, appeared as though he may be competitive but that was quickly dispelled as the Baltimore Ravens safety landed a sterling uppercut right on the target that dropped Warner like an unhooked heavy bag. The referee needed no second invitation to stop the fight to award Zbikowski his third knockout victory (all three within one round).
Zbikowski rose to 4-0-0 with 3ko while Warner slumped to 1-3-0.
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Casey Ramos and John Jackson introduced the evening at the WinStar Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma in a bout scheduled for eight. Both fighters, considering their resume, took a step-up in class in being matched together and the opening round did not disappoint as both laid heavy leather on the other. Ramos’ jab served him well while his left hook also had a lot of snap to it. Jackson was floored with 45 seconds remaining on the clock due to a thunderous right but it was deemed to be unleashed on the break, and so Jackson was given ample time to recover because he was jelly-legged and genuinely out-of-it. Once the bout re-commenced Jackson fought back valiantly.
Mid-way through the second stanza there was as much controversy as the first as Ramos once again hit after the break and was consequently deducted a point for the misdemeanour thereby eliminating the superior work he accomplished in the first. Jackson’s facial expressions looked as though he was not comfortable in the second. Ramos, meanwhile, maintained his strong jab and worked Jackson onto the ropes prior to the end of the round.
Jackson began to exert himself in the third, displaying a sterling left hook and good posturing, however, he still failed to deal with Ramos’ jab as well as his two to three punch combos. By the second minute of the third, Ramos was again dominant yet when he tried to get in close to Jackson, he’d be pushed back to the outside. Jackson’s switch-hitting style proved detrimental as it invited an attack – both to the head and to the body – from Ramos.
Ramos’ one-two troubled Jackson in the fourth’s genesis. Jackson utilised a double-jab yet the force behind it was lacking and indicated he was merely measuring distance. Ramos was warned for hitting low as he started targeting the body. Jackson was sluggish in defending himself and lacked the necessary foot skills to dance out of trouble – although there will always be the question mark over whether he had sufficiently recovered from tasting canvas in the first. Jackson was staggered by another combo from Ramos towards the round’s finish and was so dazed that he hung over the ropes like wet washing (the top-middle rope even broke). Jackson wobbled over to his corner where his mouth (seemingly purposefully) rejected his gumshield which inspired a point deduction ensuring Ramos won a 10-7 round.
Bizarrely, there was a rather long delay, 10-15 minutes, while the rope was repaired. Jackson sat, for the most part, on his stool, out of breath. Conversely, Ramos was on his feet in the opposite corner – eager to finish the fight.
Ramos did well to maintain focus yet when he came out the traps for the fifth showed a controlled aggression against Jackson – who had clearly benefited from the unforeseen delay between bouts. Again Ramos dictated the tempo, though, while Jackson exercised his right to use the full space of the ring.
By the sixth there was greater pop in Jackson’s punches. And his one-two (introduced with the left and followed up with the right) looked strong. Ramos fired back with heavy hands.
The penultimate and final rounds required a knockout from Jackson as he was so far behind on the scorecards. Ramos had dominated every minute of the fight and looked the greater technician. The only complaint from an observational standpoint was that, considering the craziness of the opening rounds, the fight’s finale could have seemed anti-climatic in comparison, however, the fan-friendly style of Ramos ensured it was anything but.
With defeat, Jackson regressed to 15-3-1 with 13 knockout wins while Ramos rose to 13-0-0 and 4 knockout victories.