Young Gabriel Flores Jr. Shines Against Josec Ruiz In New Top Rank Main Event

Just days before Father’s Day, Gabriel Flores Jr. was looking to impress his dad, who was in his corner. In the new main event of Top Rank’s Thursday (June 18) card, Flores did so, and more. Flores controlled the entire ten-round affair against Josec Ruiz.

Inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Flores won via unanimous decision (100-89, 100-89, 100-89).

“He was a tough guy, but he was not on my level. Going 10 rounds for the first time in my career was a valuable learning experience,” Flores said after the fight. “I see a world title in the next 12 months. That’s my goal, but we have to see what’s out there first. I’m training in Vegas now, and the sparring and training out here has helped elevate my game.”

Flores (18-0) was one of many young stars who shined throughout the night for Top Rank, as according to CompuBox he lands 101 power shots compared to Ruiz’s (21-3-3) 56. The 20-year-old admitted he had a lower back injury in the fight, but you wouldn’t have known that when you saw the bout. That is especially true when Flores knocked Ruiz down following a left hook and right-hand combination in the second.

While Flores was unable to capitalize on the knockdown, it would not matter. The Stockton-born Flores hit hard shot after hard shot, countering anything Ruiz attempted to land. Flores would then hit various one-two combinations before elevating it to six-punch combinations.

As Ruiz was coming in, Flores was able to take advantage and hold the distance. He would continue to hit head shots and rights, right when Ruiz was going for the body. By the end of round five, CompuBox had Flores landing 53 shots compared to Ruiz’s 24.

At this point, Flores’ father told him to attack the body and be more active. The advice worked, as his son landed multiple combinations and uppercut shots. A left hook dazed Ruiz and would add onto his combinations. Power punches were landing as Flores was inside the pocket. Ruiz would continue to have no answer for Flores, as he was just starting to hit the gas. Flores ended the fight by hitting Ruiz with combination shots.

This is Flores’ sixth fight since the start of 2019. Ruiz lost his first fight since 2013. The two main evented the card after Jose Pedraza v. Mikkel LesPierre was nixed following LesPierre’s trainer tested positive for COVID-19. The two are expected to have their fight rebooked in July. 

Main Card (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

Gabriel Flores Jr. def.  Josec Ruiz via unanimous decision (100-89, 100-89, 100-89)

Victor Rodriguez def. Justin Horsley via unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

Frevian Gonzalez def. Jose Martinez via unanimous decision (39-37, 39-37, 40-36)

Clay Collard def. David Kaminsky via split decision (58-56, 56-58, 58-56)

Robert Rodriguez def. Adrian Servin via TKO (2:48 into round two)

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