Q&A: Julio Ceja
The combustible encounter pits Ceja, who boasts a knockout ratio of 87 percent, versus Ruiz (35-2, 31 KOs), who’s only slightly lower at 84 percent.
The lone blemish on Ceja’s ledger came just over two years ago when he traveled to England and fought Jamie McDonnell for the vacant IBF 118-pound title. He gave the Brit all he could handle, losing a majority decision.
“[It was a] great experience. I thought I won that fight. I was robbed,” the heavy-handed 22-year-old said. “I have grown. I’m mentally prepared to not leave anything to the judges.”
Ceja expects this fight to be no different: “I think it will end with KO.”
As well as Santa Cruz-Mares and Ceja-Ruiz, the Premier Boxing Champions card will feature up-and-coming lightweight Alejandro Luna, talented Argentinean prospect Brian Castano and the always popular Alfredo Angulo. The ESPN Deportes broadcast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
RingTV.com – What are your thoughts on facing Ruiz?
Julio Ceja – It’s a very good match. He will bring his a game plan; he hit’s hard but I will counter and I will beat him, no matter what. I promise it will be a war, even better than Mares versus Santa Cruz.
RTV – What do you feel Ruiz brings to this fight, in terms of strengths and weaknesses?
JC – He’s got experience, very complete fighter. I believe I have the [advantage in] power and quickness.
RTV – The Jamie McDonnell fight is the only fight in your career to take place outside Mexico. What have you learned from that fight that you can possibly use against Ruiz?
JC – I have more experience. I learned that I’m at a top level, that I should be at 122 pounds not 118. I’ve learned that the public and other external factors won’t distract me.
RTV – Tell us about your youth growing up in Tlalnepantla, M├®xico?
JC – It was difficult. Me and my brother worked in the streets delivering tortillas to houses; we started early and walked a long way. We were very poorly paid but, thanks to boxing, we earned enough to have our own tortillas factory. We have two already.
RTV – How did you become interested in boxing?
JC – Me and my brother walked the streets, long distances. We got bullied from big kids, so my parents took us to train in boxing, so we could learned how to defend ourselves but we came to love it.
RTV – Your older brother, Luis, is a world-rated junior flyweight. Can you tell us about the close relationship you both share?
JC – We are very close; we train together, hang out together. I get more nervous seeing him fighting than my own fights.
RTV – The junior featherweight division is packed with talent. What are your thoughts on the division?
JC – It’s great for me to rise [to the top]. If I win, then I’m the natural opponent for Mares or Santa Cruz. I would also love a match with [IBF junior featherweight titlist Carl] Frampton; he is an exciting fighter, so am I. I would love to beat him. Rigo’s [Guillermo Rigondeaux] style is ugly; no one wants to see him [fight]. Nonito [Donaire] is on his way down. [Scott] Quigg, I don’t know him (laughs). So I want Frampton. He has beat some [of my] fellow Mexican’s, I want revenge.
RTV – What goals do you have in boxing?
JC – Be a world champion and a very solid one. I want the money, I want to bring money to my town and my family give my mom and dad a better life. They have worked making tortillas all their life, now it’s time that my fists make some money for them.
RTV – What is your life like away from boxing?
JC – I love to watch and play soccer. I love my work. My people where I grew up. I love to take care of my parents
RTV – In closing do you have a message for Ruiz ahead of your fight?
JC – I’m very excited for my first bout in USA that’s why I will prepare like no other. I will bring fireworks.