LAS VEGAS – The most emotional fight night of Cody Crowley’s career resulted in the Canadian contender moving one step closer toward a welterweight title shot.

The undefeated southpaw, who fought for the first time Saturday night since his father committed suicide nine months ago, out-pointed veteran contender Abel Ramos by majority decision in their 12-round WBC elimination match at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Peterborough, Ontario native’s victory over Ramos moved the third-ranked Crowley, who also turned 30 on Saturday, into position to possibly box the Yordenis Ugas-Mario Barrios winner in his next fight.

The WBC ordered Ugas and Barrios to fight for its interim 147-pound championship last week. Their fight is expected to take place during the summer.

Judges Chris Migliore (116-112) and Steve Weisfeld (115-113) favored the relentless Crowley’s consistent pressure and high punch output. Judge Tim Cheatham scored the fight a draw, 114-114.

According to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics, Crowley connected on 63 more punches overall than Ramos (227-of-861 to 164-of-853). CompuBox credited Crowley with landing more power punches (177-of-508 to 159-of-664) and jabs (50-of-353 to 5-of-189).

Crowley, who went off as a 7-1 favorite according to MGM Grand’s sportsbook, improved to 22-0 (9 KOs) in the opener of a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast that’ll feature super middleweight rivals David Benavidez and Caleb Plant in the 12-round main event. Crowley was very open during the buildup toward his fight against Ramos of the emotional toll the death of his father, Jim Crowley, last June 7 has had on him.

“This fight game is something else,” Crowley told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring. “I worked my whole entire life for this opportunity. The last few years, I didn’t want to live because I couldn’t get my shot, fights been getting canceled. I’ve been training since July. I’ve been broke. I wanted to take my own life and I didn’t, and my dad did.

“And if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today. And for anyone who’s thinking of taking their own life and doesn’t want to be here, I’m proof that you can keep fighting and you will win. I just want to say that I love my dad and I love my mom. Without them I wouldn’t be here today. And I wouldn’t be the man that I am today.”

The sixth-ranked Ramos (27-6-2, 21 KOs), of Casa Grande, Arizona, has lost three of his past four fights. He boxed for the first time since Luke Santamaria (13-3-1, 7 KOs) upset him by unanimous decision in their 10-rounder 13 months ago at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.        

Ramos rocked Crowley with a right hand that sent Crowley into a squatting position and caused what was initially ruled a knockdown by referee Robert Hoyle with just over a minute to go in the 11th round. Crowley quickly stood straight up and went right back to pressing forward and throwing punches at Ramos.

A video replay after the 11th round determined that neither of Crowley’s gloves touched the canvas when he squatted. Hoyle therefore informed the judges that Ramos was not credited with a knockdown in the 11th round.

Crowley nailed Ramos with a straight left 30 seconds into the 11th round.

Ramos managed to keep their fight near the center of the ring for much of the 10th round and landed several straight right hands when he briefly fought from a distance. Crowley eventually backed up Ramos again toward the end of the 10th round.

Crowley came forward throughout the eighth and ninth rounds, and consistently connected to Ramos’ head and body. Ramos had more success in the ninth round, particularly with his right hand, but Crowley remained in complete control.

A tireless Crowley smothered Ramos again throughout the eighth round. He landed various punches to Ramos’ head and body before his left uppercut snapped back Ramos’ head with 30 seconds remaining in the eighth round.

Crowley’s right hook knocked Ramos into the ropes with about 20 seconds to go in the seventh round. Crowley drilled Ramos with a straight left about 10 seconds later.

Ramos did his best to fend off Crowley earlier in the seventh round, but his determined opponent kept coming forward and threw short shots on the inside to Ramos’ head and body.

Crowley nailed Ramos with a left uppercut that drew a response from the crowd just after the halfway point of the sixth round. Crowley previously clipped Ramos with a left hand barely a minute into the sixth round.

Crowley connected with a straight left when there were less than 30 seconds on the clock in the fifth round. Ramos landed multiple lefts to Crowley’s body with just over a minute to go in the fifth round.

Ramos finally tied up Crowley about a minute into the fifth round, which temporarily stopped him from punching.   

Hoyle gave Ramos his third warning for low blows in the fourth round with about 45 seconds remaining in it. Hoyle warned Ramos for low blows twice within about a 10-second span of the middle minute of the fourth round.

Ramos’ left uppercut connected a little less than a minute into the fourth round.

Crowley caught Ramos with a left hand about two minutes into the third round. Ramos took Crowley’s flushest punches well, but the relentless Crowley was very active and accurate during the third round.

Crowley’s left uppercut caught Ramos about 35 seconds into the third round, when Ramos was backed against the ropes.

Ramos and Crowley traded hard body shots with just under a minute to go in the second round. Ramos fell flat on his back with 15 seconds left in the second round, but Hoyle correctly ruled that he slipped to the canvas after landing a punch.

Crowley smothered Ramos in the opening minute of the second round, until Hoyle eventually broke them up. Crowley went right back to work and landed a right hook to Ramos’ body and then a right hook up top several seconds later.

Ramos’ right hand backed up Crowley with just under 30 seconds to go in the first round.

Crowley backed Ramos into the ropes and landed a straight left just after the midway mark of the first round. Ramos’ right connected barely 10 seconds later.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.