Jose Ramirez: Garcia camp, Jose Zepeda, Maurice Hooker, Regis Prograis, Manny Pacquiao, and Vasyl Lomachenko
As we enter the month of December and start to countdown the final days of 2016, or start thinking about what New Year's resolution we’ll all make for the New Year, there’s one last thing that’s on the agenda for Jose Ramirez. (18-0-0; 13 KOs) The WBC Continental Americas super lightweight champion wants to end the year a perfect 3-0, and spring forward to a big 2017. Before anyone toast to the New Year, Ramirez has to deal with late replacement Issouf "Volcano" Kinda (18-3-0; 7 KOs) who took the fight short noticed, and is fighting for the first time in the west coast, as Kinda comes from the Bronx, New York. ‘Fight for Water 6’ will take place from a sold out Save Mart Center in Fresno,California. Being showcased on Top Rank Boxing Solo Boxeo series airing on UniMas 11 pm ET/PT. Ramirez was slated to fight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero, a major step up in competition for Ramirez. As to the sudden change of opponent is anybody's guess, but Ramirez manager had his. “I just think he had second thoughts about fighting Jose (Ramirez) I think maybe reality set in and he backed out.” Rick Mirigian
Ramirez, coming off a month long training session in the philippines with Manny Pacquiao to get him ready for the Jessie Vargas fight, relishes every opportunity he has to step in the ring with the future Hall of Famer. “My confidence goes up as a fighter, makes the fights easier when training camps are hard. And the reason I say training camps are hard, because I really pushed Manny (Pacquiao). He pushes me as a young fighter to stay sharp and motivated in and out of the ring.” Jose Ramirez
Ramirez, prepares hard for moments like this. He trains hard for moments like this. He’s going into his third fight of the year, and he says he could’ve fought more. That is why he eyes a big 2017, and it starts by training and keeping in shape. “I want to begin training early next year, to get ready. This year I fought three times and I felt I could’ve fought four times, so next year my goal is to stay active, to stay strong, if that means I have to fight four times, I’m willing to fight four times. I definitely want to step it up in competition, to gain the opportunity to fight with the best already, it's just a matter of me gaining that opportunity.” Jose Ramirez His promoter and manager agrees. “I think Jose will get his first title shot, I’m anticipating being here (Fresno) in the latter part of 2017. My goal would be to have it at the Save Mart Center to end the year, and make it an annual tradition of having him fight in december.” Rick Mirigian
WHO DOES RAMIREZ HAVE HIS EYES ON?
“Right now I’d like to get in the ring with Ricky Burns (41-5-1;14 KOs) for the WBA World super lightweight title and that will allow me to make a name for myself, and it would allow fighters like Terrance Crawford (29-0-0; 20 KOs) who holds 2 titles (WBC, WBO) to give me that opportunity, because he won't fight someone like me if I dont have the title, because he has too much of a risk and not much of a reward. So I think my way in would be to fight for the WBA or the IBF.” Jose Ramirez Something is for certain, tonight at the Save Mart Center the champ looks to put everyone on notice for 2017.
Joe Lopez on the left; Quilisto Madera on the right
The fight was to take place back on September earlier this year. A hamstring and knee injury, which occured during Joe "Smoke Show" Lopez (8-1-0; 5 KOs) last fight, forced Lopez to miss the much anticipated match up with Quilisto "Kilo the Kid" Madera. (4-0-0; 2 KOs) Tonight in front of a sold out Save Mart Center in Fresno, Ca part of Top Rank Boxing Solo Boxeo series, airing on a two hour tape delay on UniMas, these two valley natives finally get to square off. This fight is being labeled by many as a fight of the night candidate. If the promotional video that aired during the press confrence was any indication of how intense this fight is goint to be, the 15,000 in attendance is in for a real treat. To say that there is no love lost between the two is an understatement. Madera has been waiting, watching, and being extremely vocal on what he intends to do to Lopez. "I told him I'm going to knock him out when I fight him." Quilisto Madera There is no doubt that Madera has been vocal, and he does not shy away from it, he also understands this is a business, and it is his job to sell the fight. Madera wears his heart on his sleeves, and he calls it the way it is. Most of the general public think that there is bad blood, or there is this grudge match between the two, Madera has a different view. "I think the animosity, the fight, the sell, this is me. You know I’m being myself. I’m not just trying to sell a fight, I am selling the fight, dont get me wrong, but this is me. I’m coming out here to miss you up. No matter who it is, it could be Joe (Lopez), it could be anyone else, I’m taking you out and I’m going to tell you that." Quilisto Madera
On the opposite Side of the spectrum, Lopez has been really quiet, and something he acknowledge he never did before. “I let him talk, he’s promoting the fight. A lot of people are use to me talking, and promoting, like i said I know everyone is coming to see me, but like i said before dope sells itself.” Joe Lopez Another thing that is new for Lopez is preparing for a fight after his first defeat. Something Lopez is comfortable talking about. “You know i learned a whole lot from it. I almost look at that fight as a win not so much as a loss.” Lopez continues, “I thought I was still going to walk over this dude, like I walked over everyone else with my talent. And I took that for granted, he taught me a lesson that day. He came and he studied me, and he saw me drop my hands and he took the shot.” Joe Lopez now focused on tonights fight,
Fully healed ready to show Top Rank Boxing what his worth is. Problem is so is Madera. Both these fighters are in the best shape of their respective careers, both had tough training camps, and both think they’re coming out victorious. “I expect Joe Lopez to come and try to hurt me, you know I’ve said a lot of things to him, and I want that. I’m going to be calm, collective, aggressive and use the ring. Most importantly I’m going to come with excitement, give the fans what they want.” Quilisto Madera
“I expect to put on a good performance and show Top Rank that I’m ready to get back on the horse. I’m trying to impress them, and also my trainers to let them know everything is ok, and then move on to more money and bigger fights.” Joe Lopez Who ever comes out on top, expect an intense, in your face, action packed fight from start to finish. The time for talk is over, and soon we’ll see who raises that championship belt. This fight was a year in the making, and the count down is on.
Joe Lopez cherishes every time he fights at home, especially at the Save Mart Center, something Madera opponent hasn’t. “Oh I love fighting in my hometown. Everyone is going to be out there for me, I know it's going to affect my opponent and he’s (Quilisto Madera) never felt that, he's never been the opponent in Fresno, he’s always had people come from Stockton, but now he’s in my town I’m pretty sure people will come from Stockton, but it's going to be Fresno here, and he's going to feel that, I feel like nerves are going to set in, he’s going to feel what's it like to be the underdog, to be the away team, so I feel like he's going to feel it.” Joe Lopez Could there be such a thing as hometown advantage for boxing?
Quilisto Madera doesn’t think so. “This is a one and done, and I’m moving on to the next person I got to take out. If he (Joe Lopez) wants a rematch after I beat him he’s going to have to do some things and they’re going to have to make some offers and we shall see.” Quilisto Madera
When Saturday July, 9th comes along, and champion Jose Ramirez (17-0, 12 KOs) defends his World Boxing Council Continental Americas title against the Dominican Republics Tomas Mendez (27-7, 14 KOs) a couple thousand spectators will witness a fighter transforming to greatness live at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino Resort in Lemoore, CA. Many more will watch on TV (UniMas), as this fight is part of Top Rank Boxing "Solo Boxeo" showcase. This showcase promotes young promising fighters, such as Ramirez from Top Rank before they start their PPV careers.
So now back to the champion inside and out! Ramirez is and will forever be a champion, not only in his hometown of Avenal, CA. But throughout the whole San Joaquin Valley. Ramirez's promoter and manager Rick Mirigian mentioned that this unique set of circumstances where Ramirez fights in the Valley will soon come to an end, but that won't happen for at least a couple years or so. So your chances of witnessing something rare, and special are coming to an end. Everyone knows about the fighter, the pride of the Valley, the hometown kid, and so on. But, not everyone knows the other side of Ramirez that makes him a champion with or without a belt. For example Ramirez has a scholarship foundation at Fresno State University, helping out the many migrate students up and down the Valley. "For me it's in honor to help the students. For me, being the first in my family to attend a four year university. I know how much an education means." Ramirez said. "I just want to motivate all the kids to continue their education after high school. I want to be able to provide that help they need to get that done. Once you get that degree nobody can take that away from you." Jose Ramirez.
During Tomorrow nights title defense, Ramirez will also donate three dollars per ticket sold (sold out) to the city of Avenal. This is quite remarkable, and something that doesn't get too much publicity. Ramirez does not reside in Avenal anymore, as he lives in southern California to be closer to Trainer Freddie Roach, but his roots are still all over the small agriculture town. "Growing up in a small town in Avenal, I grew up in Avenal, raised in Avenal, less than 10,000 people live there. It was tough as a kid from a financial part mostly." Jose Ramirez. These are just a couple things that Ramirez is involved in. Yes, Ramirez is the reigning WBC Continental Americas Champion, but he will forever be a champion in the eyes of the whole Central San Joaquin Valley with or without a belt.