New Faces: Jose Ramirez
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Hometown: Avenal, California.
Weight class: Junior welterweight
Height / reach: 5-10 (178 cm)/ 72¾ inches (184 cm)
Amateur record: 154-11
Turned pro: 2012
Pro record: 14-0, 11 knockouts
Trainers: Freddie Roach, Miguel Diaz (cutman)
Manager: Rick Mirigian
Promoter: Top Rank Inc.
Best night of pro career: Ramirez has won all 14 of his fights so far, with 11 coming inside the distance. However, it is his most recent outing in front of 10,000 of his fans that he is most happy with.
“My best performance was in May in Fresno against Robert Frankel,” Ramirez told RingTV.com. “I always seem to be motivated fighting in my home town. “It was his 50th fight, he had fought some very good fighters but nobody had knocked him out before. I did in the fifth round, it was a very good performance.”
Worst night of pro career: Last summer Ramirez wasn’t at his best when he beat Alfredo Romero, despite winning a shutout decision on the undercard of Brandon Rios-Diego Chaves.
“My weakest performance was my eighth round decision in Las Vegas, at the Cosmopolitan,” he explained. “I was the swing bout (and) before you knew it I was up next. [I did] not [have] the best warm up and I let it get in my mind a little. “I watched the fight afterwards, many saw a lot skills in me. But as [far as] how I felt and what I know I could do, I wasn’t impressive.”
Next fight: Ramirez fights overseas for the first time since the 2012 Olympics. He faces Ryusei Yoshida in the co-main event at the Cotai Arena, Macao on UniMas at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. His Japanese opponent has been pro since 2002 and sports a record of 26-7 with 13 stoppage wins.
“I look forward to this international experience and exposure for my sponsors and supporters, having my family make the journey with me only makes me more motivated.” he said.
Why he’s a prospect: A highly decorated American amateur, Ramirez won 11 national titles, six consecutively, breaking Oscar De La Hoya’s record as the most successful American lightweight. Ramirez represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics, losing in the quarter finals.
He also fought at the 2011 World Championships where he lost a close decision to eventual gold medalist and current WBO featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko. The Northern-Californian only lost once in the last five years of his amateur career on American soil. He fought a who’s who on the amateur circuit, beating 2008 Olympian Raynell Williams on three occasions, as well as touted prospects Kenneth Sims, Toka Kahn-Clary and Jessie Magdaleno.
Last year he flew to the Philippines where he was Manny Pacquiao’s main sparring partner, prior to his win over Chris Algieri. Ramirez possesses good size and impressive power at junior welterweight. However, he believes he has other noteworthy strengths.
“My Determination and intelligence to win,” he said. “I have speed and power but what really makes me a strong fighter is my mentally to out-work my opponents.”
His agent Rick Mirigian has high praise for his fighter.
“We are watching the future of the sport in and out of the ring evolve right before us, he is that once a generation fighter and person.”
It could genuinely be said that there are only a handful of bigger draws at the gate in the U.S. even at this early stage of his career. Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. is hugely impressed by the youngster’s ability to draw a sizeable crowd: “Jose Ramirez is a wonderful attraction and in my 40 plus years in boxing I have not experienced a fighter who consistently sells out arenas of 10,000 or more this early on.”
Why he’s a suspect: We’ve yet to see how Ramirez reacts to adversity as a pro, though his vast amateur pedigree seems to suggest that he has the tools to reach the top.
Ramirez is at the point in his career where the Top Rank matchmakers will look to use fights against the likes of Frankel as bridging fights to prepare him for the next level before moving him on to face fringe contenders, fellow prospects and former champions.
He feels there are areas to work on: “Experience in the later rounds. I just need more rounds and small technical adjustments in my punches. But mainly I need more experience in the pro ring. Once I get the necessary experience I can be a world champion.”
Story lines: He first became interested in boxing when he was 8 years old. He is from a very close knit family.
“I’m very close to my family, they’re my biggest motivation,” he said. “They are the reason why I’m in the sport. I feel like if I owe anything to anyone it would definitely be my parents and my family for their support. The reason I do everything is to give them a better way of life.” Ramirez has had several key sponsors, including McDonald’s, Nike, Chevron, Latino Water Coalition, Wonderful Pistachios, RAM trucks, Beats by Dre and Fresno State University. Most recently he added his hometown hotel-casino, Tachi Palace, to the growing list of endorsements.
Away from boxing he spends all his free time with his family in Avenal.
Dec. 8 – Corey Seigwarth – TKO 1
Mar. 30 – Charlie Dubray – TKO 1
Apr. 27 – Antonio Martinez – UD 4
June 29 – Christopher Williams – TKO 1
Aug. 17 – Mike Maldonado – TKO 1
Sept. 28 – Daniel Calzada – UD 4
Nov. 9 – Erick Hernandez Perez – KO 1
Feb. 1 – Javier Perez – TKO 1
Mar. 29 – Boyd Henley – TKO 2
May 17 – Jesus Selig – KO 2
Aug. 2 – Alfred Romero – UD 8
Oct. 25 – David Rodela – KO 1
Dec. 13 – Antonio Arellano – TKO 6
May 9 – Robert Frankel – KO 5