Highlights: Akitsugi stops Ramirez by TKO-9, Flaz wins TKO-4 on ProBox

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Sportem
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Katsuma Akitsugi looked brilliant in his first action in over two years, earning just his second career knockout in a ProBox TV main event with a 9th round stoppage of Eduardo Ramirez.

Akitsugi (11-0, 2 KO) hadn’t been in the ring since May of 2022, but showed no rust at all. He was all slick movement and relentless attack from all angles throughout, and showed fantastic conditioning despite the long layoff.

Ramirez (22-4-3, 16 KO) staggered Akitsugi early in the 2nd on a counter, and opened up a significant cut near Akitsugi’s eye on a clash of heads in the 7th, but Akitsugi forced his ideal style on almost every other minute of the fight. He knocked Ramirez down in the 4th on a counter that caught him off balance, and his constant snapping punches ground Ramirez down over the course of the night.

A tired and wounded Ramirez was on the ropes in the 9th, took a few to the chin that had him looking unsteady, and the fight was stopped. It’s not totally clear if the call came from the corner, but they were on the verge even if it was entirely referee Michael DeJesus’s decision.

Very impressive stuff from Akitsugi, who is still just 26 years old and ought to be able to use his performance tonight to bigger and better fights.

No isolated highlights to share, but here’s a timestamped link to the sequence that ended the fight:

Nicklaus Flaz TKO-4 Alfredo Escarcega Jr

A beautifully smooth showing from Nicklaus Flaz in the chief support, who impressed with the seeming effortlessness of good fundamentals and fluid movement.

Flaz (13-2, 9 KO) had busier hands and better accuracy, and put Escarcega (15-2-1, 7 KO) down on a body shot midway through the 3rd. Escarcega couldn’t get his legs back, as Flaz just kept pulverizing his stomach and ribs.

Escarcega went down from another body knockdown in the final minute of the 4th round, more from accumulation than any single punch. A third body knockdown 30 seconds later moved Escarcega’s corner to stop the fight, giving Flaz the 4th round knockout victory.

Najee Lopez UD-8 Steven Sumpter

A valuable learning experience for ProBox regular Najee Lopez, who got a little overeager for the finish and wound up knocked down instead. Lopez (11-0, 8 KO) had the tighter guard and crisper punches, while Steven Sumpter was just a little loose by comparison. It left Sumpter (9-1-1, 7 KO) open for the sort of shots that hurt him, notably on a body punch midway through the 1st round.

Sumpter had his moments, landing a very nice left early in the 3rd. But, his best came when Lopez looked like he had him on the verge of a knockout late in the 4th. Lopez had Sumpter on the ropes, but Sumpter nailed a perfect counter left cross that sent Lopez sprawling in a full back somersault. Lopez looked very unsteady in the final few seconds of the round, but recovered nicely during the break.

After the knockdown, Lopez fought with excess caution, while Sumpter kept trying to time another perfect one-shot counter that never materialized. Judges decided it, giving Lopez the unanimous decision on scorecards of 77-74, 78-73, and 78-73.

Here’s a timestamped link to the 4th round knockdown of Lopez:

Weljon Mindoro TKO-2 Tyler Goodjohn

Fun showing from Mindoro (12-0-1, 12 KO), who was whipping vicious body hooks like a lighter-footed version of Bek Melikuziev. He got clipped once or twice, but fought through it and finished the show in just under two full rounds.

Goodjohn (13-6, 4 KO) went after Mindoro, fighting off the front foot and throwing to win. But, the risk caught up with him quickly, as Mindoro put him down twice in the 2nd round, possibly three times, but it’s not clear whether it was an official knockdown or a slip because the referee jumped in immediately to end the fight.

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