Sunday, April 02, 2023  |



John Ramirez believes title shot is on horizon, but first must get past Luis Padilla

John Ramirez (left) and Luis Padilla.
Fighters Network

John Ramirez could care less about having haters. As far as Ramirez is concerned, he is who he is, in and out of the ring.

So when Ramirez considers himself to be one of the top fighters in a talent-rich junior bantamweight division, despite only having 10 professional fights, he is eager to prove that by making a statement at the expense of anyone who is in his way.

Ramirez will face Luis Padilla Thursday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California. The 10-round bout will headline a Golden Boy Fight Night card that will stream live on DAZN (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

At Wednesday’s weigh-in, Ramirez weighed in at 114.8 pounds. Padilla weighed the junior bantamweight limit of 115 pounds. 

The 26-year-old has not fought since a highlight-reel knockout win over Jan Salvatierra on May 14. Ramirez won by first round knockout after Salvatierra was knocked out of the ring by a combination to the head. 

Boxing was not his first love. After being born in the United States, Ramirez migrated to Honduras with his father, becoming a very talented soccer player in Honduras. After returning to the United States, Ramirez would be a standout football player at Lincoln High School in the Los Angeles area, and was featured in the 2015 documentary “ESPN 60: Letterman.” After graduating from Lincoln, Ramirez also played two years at Los Angeles Valley Community College. 

Ramirez made his professional debut in December 2020. Thursday will mark his fourth fight under the Golden Boy Promotions banner.

Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, believes Ramirez has that ‘it’ factor that could gravitate the sport and is a future world titleholder. 

“He’s a very smart fighter,” Gomez told The Ring Saturday night. “He’s aggressive, but smart. He’s just very talented. (Ramirez is) personable and has got charisma. The kid has superstar written all over him. Just the way he carries himself, how hard he works and trains. He’s an overall great athlete.”

Ramirez agrees.

I think everything I’ve gone through at a young age has developed me and got me to where I’m at today,” Ramirez told The Ring Saturday. “From physical to mental.”

Padilla (15-3-2, 2 KOs), who resides in the boxing hotbed of Guadalajara, Mexico, will provide the opposition for Ramirez. Padilla has won his last two fights since losing to former world title challenger Samuel Cardona in December 2021. 

Ramirez wants to make a statement at the expense of Padilla, predicting a knockout or stoppage, but he’s focused more on the possibility of facing WBA world titleholder Joshua Franco later this year. He is currently ranked No. 2 by the sanctioning body and there is the possibility Ramirez could face Thailand’s Sirichai Thaiyen, who is ranked No. 3, in a WBA eliminator for the mandatory spot to face Franco.

Despite having only 25 amateur fights and fighting in only his 11th fight Thursday night, Ramirez says it is only a matter of time before he faces Franco or the top fighters at 115 pounds.

“I believe I’m up there,” said Ramirez. “I believe in my skill and what I bring to the table. I know how good I am. It’s all about being patient, staying focused and I will get that opportunity. I’m (ranked) No. 1 by the WBA. Joshua Franco has the belt. Sooner or later, he has to see me.”

Ramirez is also a fixture at Golden Boy fight cards or boxing events in Southern California. He has dressed flamboyantly and has the gift of gab while being interviewed on networks and streams.

While some may misinterpret Ramirez’s jargon as cockiness or that he has not faced anyone of note thus far, Ramirez pays no mind to what is said of him, as he is focused on proving his worth in the ring.

“That’s just who I am. I like to have fun, but I’m always going to be me. Some people may take it the wrong way. I’m just a confident individual. Some people think I’m cocky. It’s all confidence. It’s who I am.

“I’m here to stay. That’s the statement I want to make and I will make that come fight night.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]