Michael Koncz on Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao: "If the fans still want to see this fight, we're willing to do it."
New Faces: Julian Ramirez
Undefeated junior featherweight prospect Julian Ramirez, the nephew of late former champ Genaro Hernandez, returns to action on Saturday in Cancun, Mexico. The promising, popular teenager is managed by Joel De La Hoya.
Next fight: Ramirez faces Aaron Olivares (6-3, 2 KOs) in a scheduled six-round bout on the stacked undercard of a Fox Deportes-televised show from the Grand Oasis Resort in Cancun, Mexico this Saturday. Ramiez-Olivares is a swing bout on the monster TV card (carried on Televisa in Mexico) that features Pablo Cesar Cano, Marco Antonio Periban, and Jorge Linares in separate bouts.
Why he’s a prospect: While not the most polished boxer, Ramirez, who was a soccer standout in high school, is a well-coordinated athlete gifted with a natural “feel” for the ring. He has very good punching power, which he used to his advantage during his five-year, 78-bout amateur career. He lost a razor-thin bout to 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr. and went 2-1 in three bouts with current undefeated prospect Joel Diaz (winning both his bout by stoppage). While still an amateur, the teenager sparred with world-class fighters, including Jorge Arce, Leo Santa Cruz, and Martin Castillo, and always held his own. Ramirez has an aggressive fighting style and seems to connect with fans.
Why he’s a suspect: After winning so many amateur bouts by knockout (or “RSC” – referee stops contest), Ramirez tends to load up with punches and rely more on his power than his underused boxing ability. Having limited open-class amateur experience, and turning pro at 18, Ramirez’s chin, physical strength and durability is still a question mark. He has also yet to hook up with a world-class trainer, although talks are underway to change that situation.
Story lines: Ramirez is the nephew of former two-time junior lightweight titleholder Genaro Hernandez but his relationship with his accomplished uncle, who passed away after a brave battle with cancer in 2011, was limited due to a family feud between his grandmother and some of Hernandez’s brothers. Ramirez didn’t meet his uncle face-to-face until he was 8 years old, after Hernanez had retired from boxing. His mother would periodically drive him to Orange County, where the retired champ lived, and the two would have special time together. “We talked about everything except boxing,” Ramirez says. “Even when I started boxing at 12, we didn’t talk about it. He never spoke about the sport until he was sick and in the hospital, not long before he died. Our last conversation was about boxing. He warned me about the business side of it and told me to make sure I had the right people behind me if I ever decided to turn pro.” Ramirez, who was taught the fundamentals of boxing by Hernadez’s father, heeded his dying uncle’s words. He is managed by Oscar De La Hoya’s brother, Joel De La Hoya, and he recently signed with Golden Boy Promotions, which has kept him busy. He has been trained by Eric Brown and Rodrigo Mosquera, but is currently working with his uncle Mike Ramirez and cutman Jesus "Don Chuy" Lopez (with Joel De La Hoya helping out in the corner). De La Hoya is considering bringing in veteran pro trainer Joel Diaz, who also trains Tim Bradley.
Feb. 26 -- Juan Sandoval UD 6
Jan. 11 -- Sergio Najera TKO 1
Oct. 27 -- Steve Gutierrez TKO 5
Sept. 8 -- Noel Mendoza KO 1
July 28 -- Christian Navarro UD 4
April 7 -- Salvador Cifuentes KO 1
Feb. 4 -- Javier Damien KO 1