Simon says a fourth-round KO is a real possibility |

Simon says a fourth-round KO is a real possibility

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Simon Ruvalcaba had the crowd behind him a month ago in Caesars Tahoe. That edge will belong to Dwayne Pope on Saturday night when the two tangle in a four-round bout at the City Center Pavillion in Reno.

Their 150-pound match is on the undercard of the International Boxing Federation junior welterweight title elimination bout between Sharba Mitchell and Ben Tackie.

In addition, Saturday’s show will also include Jeff Lacy attempting to defend his World Boxing Council Continental Americas and United States Boxing Association titles against Anwar Oshana.

Ruvalcaba (1-4-2), a South Tahoe High grade, won a unanimous decision over Pope on April 12 in front of his hometown. Pope (0-5), who is still searching for his first pro victory, is from Reno. Both men now live in Carson City.

Ruvalcaba was comfortable fighting inside and outside in their first meeting. He used an effective left jab and active footwork to take the early rounds and then scored inside with left and right hooks.

“On April 12 I had no real power in my punches after the first round,” Ruvalcaba said. “This time, the possibility of a fourth-round knockout can not be ruled out.”

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Last time, Pope strayed from a fight plan contingent on a knockout.

“I was going to catch him with a lot of straight punches, but he started coming in so I started throwing a lot of uppercuts and hooks,” Pope said.

Ruvalcaba isn’t concerned about Pope’s punching power, even with a change in the gloves.

“Even with 8-ounce gloves this time, unless he gets a blessing from the real pope, Dwayne’s punches are not doing to make me go anywhere,” Ruvalcaba said.

Ticket prices range from $25 to $75 and can be purchased by phoning 1-888-288-1833 or at Circus Circus Reno main cage, Silver Legacy Resort Club Legacy Booth, Harrah’s Reno Box Office or Eldorado Hotel Casino Showroom Box Office.

The seven-fight card begins at 5:15 p.m.