Jose Ramirez is a win away from cracking the top 10 in the WBC super lightweight division.
The Avenal native and 2012 U.S. Olympian says that doesn’t matter as he returns to the ring Saturday at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore.
Ramirez (17-0, 12 KOs) will face Tomas Mendez (22-7, 14 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout for the WBC Continental Americas title. The fight will be shown tape delayed at 11 p.m. as part of the “Solo Boxeo” series on UniMas, Comcast channel 12.
In the buildup to past fights, Ramirez said, he would often go on social media and read what critics had to say. But during this training camp, he’s stayed away from that.
I want to continue to stay sharp and motivated, stay hungry and become the best.
Rising pro boxer Jose Ramirez, who is 17-0 with 12 knockouts
“I want to make sure I do my talking through boxing because I know that I have what it takes to get there,” Ramirez said. “I want to continue to stay sharp and motivated, stay hungry and become the best. I’m going to do it one fight at a time.”
Ramirez is coming off his first 10-round unanimous decision win over Manny Perez, on an April 9 pay-per-view card in Las Vegas. He is rated No. 11 by the WBC, but contends he hardly pays attention to the rankings. Another win, however, could catapult him into world title contention.
“I’m thinking about this fight and not thinking about the rankings,” he said. “If someone is ranked higher, then one day I’m going to face him. The numbers aren’t going to mean anything at that point. Whoever wins is the best. Right now I’m not really paying attention to the rankings or how fast other fighters are moving. Just trying to focus on me.”
Ramirez’s focus isn’t lost on agent/promoter Rick Mirigian.
“The stakes are going up,” he said. “Ramirez knows it and has approached this fight with focus and discipline.”
Ramirez has been getting valuable lessons from Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez, with trainer Freddie Roach standing by, in his current camp at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
“Show me that extra advice to better my technique,” Ramirez said. “It tells you a lot that (Chavez) took a few minutes to pay attention to me and that gets me excited and motivated … getting that experience that I need and to perfect my craft.”
Reaching the top is one thing but staying on top is another and I want to make sure I do it the right way.
Ramirez on what he hopes is a steady climb to the top of the super lightweight division
Ramirez said he has been training with Viktor Postol (28-0), who will face Terence Crawford (28-0) in a WBO/WBC junior welterweight title unification bout July 23 in Las Vegas.
“Training really hard for this fight,” said Ramirez, whose camp ends Monday. “I’ve been focused and sparring against the best fighters and I’m taking this fight extremely serious. There’s still progress and I’m still a prospect, even though sometimes because of my Olympic status they expect for me to go up the rankings a lot faster than the other prospects. I have to take this fight serious and continue to climb the ranks and get the experience.
“I want to make sure I get the experience I need and be ready when I do step up and fight against the best out there. Reaching the top is one thing but staying on top is another and I want to make sure I do it the right way.”
6:30 p.m. Saturday at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore
- Lightweight: Jose Ramirez (17-0, 12 KOs) vs. Tomas Mendez (22-7, 14 KOs), 10 rounds
- Super featherweight: Andy Vences (15-0, 10 KOs) vs. Moises Delgadillo (17-14-2, 8 KOs), 8 rounds
- Middlweight: Joe Louie Lopez (8-0, 5 KOs) vs. Ernesto Martinez (11-10-1, 5 KOs), 6 rounds
- Lightweight: Eric Altamirano (7-0, 5 KOs) vs. Daniel Tran (4-4-1, 2 KOs), 6 rounds
- Middlweight: Quilisto Madera (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Rafael Valencia (3-2, 2 KOs), 4 rounds
- Super lightweight: Hector Madera (debut) vs. Kevin Davila (1-2-2, 0 KOs), 4 rounds
- Featherweight: Efren Lopez (debut) vs. TBA, 4 rounds