Jose Ramirez hadn’t been to Mexico City since a family trip when he was 13. This time, it was all business.
Ramirez, along with fellow pro boxers Gilberto Ramirez (no relation) and Oscar Valdez, went to Mexico City this past week to do promotional work ahead of April 9 bouts in Las Vegas.
Jose Ramirez (16-0, 12 KOs) will meet Manuel Perez (25-11-1, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round junior-welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. It is part of the undercard for the Manny Pacquiao/Tim Bradley Jr. III fight, but a big part.
Ramirez’s fight likely will open the pay-per-view telecast at 6 p.m., and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum sent Ramirez and the other two boxers to Mexico City to expand the brand.
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The Avenal native and 2012 U.S. Olympian could not have been prouder than to make the visit to his parents’ native country, where he saw his aunt, uncle and cousins in Mexico City.
They see that I’m becoming something in this sport of boxing and they were extremely excited.
Jose Ramirez on a visit with extended family in Mexico City
“They were excited to see me,” Ramirez said. “They hear about me and for them I’m probably like a little celebrity. They were able to see me in part of my profession and hear me talk about my upcoming fight. They see that I’m becoming something in this sport of boxing and they were extremely excited.”
Agent/promoter Rick Mirigian went with Ramirez on Wednesday and said the experience was “unreal.”
“It’s hard on you, though, to go through all that traveling in a 48-hour period,” Mirigian said. “TV Azteca did huge stuff on Jose and I learned how global boxing is.”
Ramirez and Mirgian met with WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán, who told Ramirez he’s their “future world champion.”
“It was definitely an experience and I was happy to be over there,” said Ramirez who’s been focusing on conditioning work and plans to start sparring in two weeks. “I was excited to go over there and I had a great time and enjoyed every second of it. The media was great, even though I’m not known compared to the two Mexican fighters. I’m always like the American guy, you know?
“Once they got to know little bit of my story and once Bob Arum got going with what I do over here (providing a face for the Latino Water Coalition lobbying efforts), they were very interested and excited. I’m happy to be in that position.
“It gives me excitement to know ‘Wow,’ I’m there now. I’m gaining some attention and getting this extra promotion that I always dreamed of getting and I know it comes with being in the big fights. It’s like a little dream come true in a way to be able to go out there and get to know the people in Mexico and for them to get to know me.”
March Madness – Joe Louie Lopez will be a little busy in March.
The Fresno native has two fights lined up, the first March 12 in Burbank against Liam Vaughan of Liverpool, England in a scheduled six-round middleweight bout.
Lopez is 7-0 with four knockouts, while Vaughan is 9-2 with two KOs.
On March 25, Lopez will fight at the Double Tree in Sacramento against an opponent to be named.
Valdivia is victorious – Daniel Valdivia stepped back into the ring Jan. 30 and made quick work of Kenneth Council with a first-round knockout at the Marriott Convention Center in Burbank.
Valdivia improved to 10-0 with eight KOs. It was Valdivia’s first fight since a September sixth-round knockout of Jeremy Ramos to capture the NABF junior super welterweight title.