By Sean Crose
“It’s a great opportunity,” super featherweight Daniel Ramirez says of this Thursday’s bout with rising star Jayson Velez. And surely it is. Ramirez is coming off a loss to Eric Hunter last year and looking to put on a good show. The fight with Velez is being aired on Fox Sports 1 (10 P.M. Eastern Time), after all, which means an impressive performance can boost the Tijuana fighter’s career considerably.
“I learned a lot from that last fight,” claims Ramirez, an easygoing, likeable individual. He’ll need to be at his best when he faces Velez, a 22-0-1 action fighter whose last bout, against Evgeny Gradovich, ended in a draw. Indeed, Velez is open about this desire to become champion. First, though, he’ll have to get past Ramirez, a fighter who himself possesses keen focus and determination.
“I’ve been studying him a lot,” Ramirez says of his foe. “I’ll do what I’ve been working on.”
Chances are what he’s been working on might well entertain the fans this Thursday evening at the Belasco Center in Las Angeles. For Ramirez, like his opponent, is an action fighter. He simply doesn’t stop throwing. “That’s the way I fight,” he states simply. “I’m a come forward fighter.”
Photos: HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions
All of this, of course, makes for a matchup which is very unlikely to put fans to sleep. With a record of 11-2, Ramirez, like Velez, is eager to get back to the win column. Velez, however, has won all but four of his bouts by knockout. Ramirez is exciting, but he isn’t known as a knockout machine. Does this mean he’s been working on his power?
Perhaps, but not in the way you may think. A self aware individual, Ramirez possesses enough confidence to feel he doesn’t have to become overly eager. “The knockouts going to come by itself,” he says. In other words, why sweat the small stuff?
Surely, he must be nervous, though. A big platform. A formidable opponent. These are things that can bring about a world class case of the shakes. Yet Ramirez claims he’s “Not nervous at all.” Telling, perhaps.
“I’m just waiting for the bell,” he says.
Now, however, waiting is pretty much all he can. Although Thursday will arrive soon enough, the waiting, to paraphrase Tom Petty, must be the hardest part. Even in this, however, Ramirez seems at ease. He’s still keeping active, however, at least as active as he can before a major fight.
“I just jump rope,” he says, “light work. Not too much hard work. The hard work’s already been done”
Now all that’s left to do for the man is get in the ring and have it out with Velez. It would be nice to say everyone wins in situations like this (they’re both good guys), but in boxing, that simply isn’t the case. Regardless, Ramirez clearly likes where he is right now.
“I’m thankful and im just ready to put on a great show,” he claims. “I’m excited.”