By: Francisco Martinez
With a 16-0 (12 K.O’s) career start Jr. welterweight Jose Ramirez is set to fight on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Jr. card on April 9th televised by HBO PPV. A great platform for the 140lbs phenom to display his talent. “Phenom” you ask why? Well, this 23 year old has already filled arenas with 13k plus fans, in 1 night. A hardcore fan base that supports him mainly out of the NorCal boxing scene that seemed to be a non existent one for the last decade or so up until now. As Jose Ramirez has become the front guard of the new leading movement in boxing based out of Northern California, a resurgence of the NorCal boxing scene. Right behind him are fighters like Andy Vences, (13-0) Guy Robb (16-1) a group that’s driven by Top Rank promotions.
BoxingInsider.com had the pleasure to talk with Jose Ramirez about this opportunity presented to him on the night Manny Pacquiao is set to retire after a career worthy of a trip to Canastota, N.Y. in the meanwhile the complete Pacquiao vs. Bradley card is a glimpse of the future stars Top Rank promotions is now focused on. The complete HBO card will most likely get kicked off with Jose Ramirez followed up by 2008 Mexican team Olympian Oscar Valdez squaring up with former 126lbs IBF title holder Evgeny Gradovich, “The Mexican Russian” training out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, then fans will see “King” Arthur Abraham vs. Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez battle it out for the WBA world super middleweight title before leading us into the “trilogy” but before we get into those fights Jose Ramirez is the beginning focal point to this whole card that is sure to present a great night of action in boxing. So let’s get started…
BoxingInsider: So you’re fighting on the card of Pacquiao/Bradley 3, when did they let you know that and what were your emotions?
Jose Ramirez: Mr. Arum, he called be probably 3 days after the fight was made between Pacquiao and Bradley. In those type of levels I think Pacquiao, even Bradley decide who’s on the undercard. Those type of levels, maybe Pacquiao being the A side fighter, he has to agree who’s on the card. I felt Mr. Arum had a little vision of putting Hispanics on the undercard and he called me and I was very excited and it’s just a big opportunity. I think it’s time for me to step into that type of stage and to be televised on HBO. I’m more then excited, I’m ready to start working and give it my best, go out there and put on a show.
In the Los Angeles press conference for Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3 founder & CEO of Top Rank promotions dubbed the Pacquiao/Bradley preliminary bouts as the “Donald Trump undercard”, “…because it futures all Hispanic fighters” and quickly picked away at the 2016 candidate for presidency in the U.S. with jabs like “…and I want to give the Hispanic fighters the opportunity to perform before Mr. Trump deports them out of the country” and dedicates the undercard to the 12 million plus undocumented immigrants who live in the United States. Making a stand for the Immigrant population by saying he wants them “to know that there’s a lot of people who have their back and are not going to allow them to be deported”
BoxingInsider: Do you consider yourself part of the Northern California (boxing) movement?
Jose Ramirez: Well yeah, I’m the one that co-promotes the fights with Top Rank (promotions) I’m the one that gives the local talent the opportunity to be able to fight on my card. When I signed pro with Top Rank I was able to add in the contract for them to give me the opportunity to co-promote 2 fights at least within the year or so. I’m able to do whatever I want with those fights in the valley and as long as Top Rank is happy and they let me be what you can say, a small promoter myself. I allow the local talent from Northern California like Andy Vences to be able to fight those fights (as well) Daniel Valdivia to get their careers started you know. To be able to be seen by Unimas and I’m happy that they’re getting that shot. If I was in their situation I would be very thankful with someone who allowed me the opportunity (to do so).
BoxingInsider: Do you feel that this is important for you to do this for Northern California being that they haven’t had much boxing there? Do you think you can actually garner a fan base out of there a lot like the Southern California fighter is (able to do so) like Oscar De La Hoya and make yourself a commodity out there for the fans to always go and support when you fight?
Jose Ramirez: Yeah, most definitely. I think that should be everyone’s goal to start. Your path needs to start where you’re from. I created my path out here in Fresno, California. Those 13,126 people at the Save Mart center (in Fresno, CA) for a Unimas card. So imagine later on when we start bringing HBO PPV cards to Fresno. Which I do see happening even if I’m not the main event or I could be the main event (it) depends on how these fights continue to go with me. Everyone’s goal as fighter should be able to create that platform then if it’s strong enough they’ll follow you to wherever you go. If you go to (Las) Vegas or if you go to your house. A good example right now is Terence Crawford who is from Omaha and has created his platform there. That’s how it goes.
Jose Ramirez has done many rounds of sparring with Manny Pacquiao and will continue to do so for this 3rd version of Pacquiao vs. Bradley as he is set to join the Filipino, 8 division world champion in camp in his native country at some point this month along with Frankie “The Pitbull” Gomez who’s coming off a unanimous decision victory heading into what could be the final camp, preparation Manny Pacquiao is to ever see through in his brilliant career. Leaving us with somewhat of a “passing of the torch” with Jose Ramirez being one of the likely pugilist to carry on with an write out his own legacy.