Raphael Gramajo: “This Is Why I Box”
By: Sean Crose
No one needs to be told what a tough time the world – and America in particular – is going through. Still, there are some of us who are able to find away to make at least a glass or two of lemonade out of a seeming orchard full of lemons. Super bantamweight Raphael Gramajo is one such person. “I held up pretty good,” he says of the time he had to spend isolated from the larger world during the Covid-19 pandemic. “I got my kid with me. That made it go a lot smoother.”
Some guys simply enjoy Dad Duty. Count the 11-2-2 Gramajo among their ranks. Talking to the man over the phone for a few minutes, it becomes clear he really enjoys the activities nvolved. “Art work,” Gramajo says of his time spent parenting in quarantine. “We built stuff. We played some games.” Being a family man is more than a side gig to Gramajo, it’s obviously the whole gig. “This is why I box,” he says. “I box because of this.” A product of the famous West Side boxing gym, Gramajo looks at his team through the prism of family, as well. “My career ends here,” he says of his gym. “This is not only a team it’s a family.”
Although Gramajo is an Los Angeles fighter through and through, he’s happy to admit he’s originally a product of Kansas. “Home to me is Kansas,” he says, “but this (LA) is home to me now.” There’s little doubt that his adopted home town has served Gramajo well. You can literally see his fans at ringside, donning matching white shirts, cheering him on. “That’s all thanks to LA.,” says Gramajo. “I’ve got a lot of fans out there now.” Fans who are undoubtedly eager to see their man’s ring return. “Just waiting for that call,” he says.
Although Gramajo would certainly be considered more of a boxer than a puncher, his last fight – an impressive win over Daniel Olea via retirement in the fourth round – showed the man can employ his power when the opportunity presents itself. “I want to see what the fighter’s about,” he says of his opponents. “I want to see what he’s working with and depending on what he’s working with, we go from there.” Its an analytical approach to the fight game that has served Gramajo well. “I’m focused from the moment I walk into the ring,” he says.