Hugo Ruiz catches Alberto Guevara with a right cross. Photo / @ShowtimeBoxing
LAS VEGAS – Facing a very late replacement, Hugo Ruiz made his way through a steady ten-round fight with Alberto Guevara in the opening fight of the Pacquiao-Broner Showtime pay-per-view on Saturday. One judge had it a shutout, 100-89, while the other two found a round to give to Guevara at 99-90.
Guevara, who stepped in to replace Jhack Tepora after the unbeaten Filipino missed the featherweight limit of 126 pounds by five and a half, performed as well as he could under the circumstances but was outclassed by Ruiz, who had been a top fighter at 118 and 122 pounds before sitting out two years following a ninth round technical knockout loss to Hozumi Hasegawa.
Ruiz (39-4, 33 knockouts) of Los Mochis, Mexico scored an opening round knockdown with an uppercut and never was in danger, backing up Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico.
Ruiz, 30, had previously held the WBC junior featherweight title, and has now won three straight.
“It was very difficult when there is one fighter that you are prepared to fight in the ring and it doesn’t turn out that way. It was supposed to be a title fight. I was so disappointed and my mind wasn’t totally in it,” said Ruiz.
“I trained for the southpaw and then I had to fight a right hander at the last minute. The other guy was a puncher and this guy is a boxer. It made it difficult for me to fight him because it wasn’t what I trained for.”
Tepora wasn’t the only Filipino fighter whose fight was canceled at the weigh-in. Genisis Libranza, who weighed 115.5 pounds, was relegated to an observer after former title challenger Carlos Buitrago blew the weight by several pounds, coming in at 121 pounds on Friday.
The two Filipinos who did make it to the ring on the undercard came out on the wrong end of decisions, with the Pacquiao-promoted Jayar Inson (18-2, 12 KOs) dropping a split decision to Jonathan Steele (9-2, 6 KOs) in an eight round welterweight contest, and Rey Perez (24-11, 8 KOs) being shutout 80-72 across the board against Pacquiao sparring partner George Kambosos Jr. (16-0, 9 KOs) in an eight round lightweight fight.
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