Avila says he’s ready for top featherweights after Ramirez
Featherweight standout Manuel Avila looks to extend his unbeaten record when he faces grizzled veteran Jose Ramirez in the headline bout of Golden Boy’s “LA Fight Club” series on Friday at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles.
Avila (21-0, 8 knockouts) intends to round out the year with his third straight win – hopefully by knockout – but his main goal is to look sharp during the scheduled 10-round bout that will air on EstrellaTV in the U.S. and will be streamed live on RingTV.com.
Manuel Avila Interview Package from Golden Boy Digital on Vimeo.
“I just know this is gonna be a big test for me, he’s a tough opponent,” Avila told RingTV. “I haven’t watched any footage on him but everybody’s been saying it’s a good fight for me; it’s gonna be a tough fight, a good test to make sure that I belong at the top where I feel I belong.
“It’s gonna be my last fight of the year so I want to end it on a good note, stay undefeated and hopefully add another knockout to my record.”
The 24-year-old Northern Californian has fought much of his career at junior featherweight, however, this year he feels he’s filled out into a full-fledged featherweight, declaring that he feels stronger at 126 pounds.
Ramirez (28-6, 16 KOs) is riding a three-fight win streak after losing three consecutive bouts to Vasyl Lomachenko (L KO 4), Abner Mares (L RTD 5) and Oscar Valdez (L KO 3).
Avila admits to feeling a little pressure to emulate those results and show he can mix at the world level like the trio that stopped Ramirez but he also doesn’t want to put added pressure on himself.
“Yes and No,” he explained. “Yes, because it would put me up there with those champions but I don’t want to go into a fight looking for a knockout and then being frustrated if I don’t get a knockout by a certain round and looking horrible. We’re going to stick with my gameplan and go from there.”
Earlier this year Avila gained expert experience sparring with Valdez, helping the new WBO featherweight beltholder prepare for his world title win in July.
Working with the two-time Olympian was a confidence booster for Avila and showed him he can mix with the elite.
“I was like ‘If this is a guy that was ready for a title fight and won, I know for sure that I’m ready for a title fight and I know I’ll come out on top,’” Avila said.
The Fairfield resident believes he’s close to following Valdez onto the world stage.
“I feel like maybe even after this I could have a chance at a title fight, if not one more fight,” Avila said before adding, “[I’ll fight] anybody that’s willing to fight me or holding a belt.”
Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz is an advocate of the WBC’s No. 14 rated featherweight.
“Tino Avila has tremendous potential,” Diaz said. “I have always described him as a sharp-shooter as [every] punch he throws is [a]punch he lands.
“This is an important fight for him as it will show he belongs among the top of the division. First things first, he must perform Nov. 4 but if all goes well then next year he will be ready to step up and fight the best, and yes for a world title. Look for big things as he is ready for 2017.”
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