That’s significant because Reed is the opponent Nov. 11 at Save Mart Center against Ramirez, the Olympian from Avenal. It’s arguably the biggest pro sports event in Fresno history, a super lightweight bout for the WBC Continental Americas title, airing nationally on ESPN.
The fight is scheduled to go 10 rounds – but both boxers have a penchant for knocking out their opponents. Ramirez (20-0, 15 KOs), rated No. 3 by the WBC and No. 5 by the WBO at 140 pounds, last fought in May, scoring a second-round technical knockout over Jake Giuriceo in Reno. Reed (23-0, 12 KOs), a 24-year-old southpaw, is ranked No. 10 by the WBO.
Reed took a break from training in Maryland, where he’s from, to talk about why he’s been calling out Ramirez since June 2016.
“When I look at him, I see an incomplete fighter,” Reed said. “Offensively, he’s very good, but he has no defense. With that being said, you have to have defense to fight me. My offense and defense is pretty good. I’m a well-rounded fighter and a complete fighter. With me being short (5-foot-6, 4 inches shorter than Ramirez), I can go inside. I’m a complete fighter.”
Ramirez and Reed came up together in the amateur ranks, but always separated by a weight class. “When I see myself in the finals, I see him in the finals, as well,” Reed recalled.
Then when Reed saw Ramirez on the Manny Pacquiao/Timothy Bradley Jr. undercard in April 2016, he wondered why he wasn’t on the same card.
“It wasn’t anything against Jose,” Reed said. “I wanted his spot. That type of exposure, I felt I should be getting that type of exposure.”
So when a shot at Ramirez came about, Reed said “he jumped at the gun.”
“My dad sent me a text,” he said. “He told me you got the fight you wanted and I said, ‘I’ll take it.’”
Reed has seen many of Ramirez’s fight and said he has a strategy for their meeting: “I’m an aggressive counter-puncher. I always tell people that and they kind of take a double-take because when you hear counter-puncher you don’t think aggression. My stature, I’m short for my weight class, and fast, so I always have come forward, but my skill-set has allowed me to be a counter-puncher. I have a very good defense and speed, as well. I have to come forward, but come forward smart.
“Ramirez is a pressure fighter. He has a great left hook. Sooner or later in our fight, Jose will move towards me and that is exactly what I want to happen. I want him to get real close on the inside so we can do some serious damage.”
Fight for Water 7
Top bouts scheduled at Save Mart Center for Nov. 11, 2017
Super lightweight (10 rounds): Jose Ramirez (20-0, 15 KOs) vs. Mike Reed (23-0, 12 KOs), WBC Continental Americas title
Junior welterweight (10 rounds): Gustavo Vittori (20-2-1, 11 KOs) vs. Alex Saucedo (24-0, 15 KOs)
Welterweight (8 rounds): Juan Ruiz (20-0, 12 KOs) vs. Alexander Besputin (7-0, 5 KOs)
Super featherweight (10 rounds): Andy Vences (19-0, 11 KOs) vs. TBA
Super lightweight (8 rounds): Maxim Dadashev (8-0, 7 KOs) vs. Clarence Booth (15-3, 8 KOs)
Super lightweight (8 rounds): Arnold Barboza Jr. (17-0, 6 KOs) vs. Dario Ferman (14-3, 11 KOs)
Featherweight (6 rounds): Vislan Dalkhave (9-0, 2 KOs) vs. Fernando Fuentes (13-7-1, 4 KOs)
Middleweight (6 rounds): Quilisto Madera (7-0, 4 KOs) vs. Even Torres (6-5, 5 KOs)
Lightweight (4 rounds): Bryan Lua (1-0) vs. TBA
Tickets: $33-$150 at the Save Mart Center box office and select Save Mart Supermarkets or www.ticketmaster.com