Red-hot Ramirez heats up boxing at the Belasco on April 2

Photo by Golden Boy Promotions

Photo by Golden Boy Promotions


On April 2, undefeated featherweight prospect Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez, 13-0 (8), will headline Golden Boy Promotions’ “L.A. Fight Club” at the Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, Calif.


This will be the first 10-rounder for the sizzling featherweight phenomenon. It will also be a home game for the East Los Angeles-raised fighter who grew up 10 minutes away from the site of his upcoming gig. Ramirez is excited to get back into the ring for his first bout of 2015, a year he hopes will see him advance further toward his ultimate goal of a world title shot.


Ramirez will certainly be put to the test in this bout against tough veteran Raul “Bule” Hidalgo, 23-12 (17). But he seems excited and motivated enough to make a splash in front of his ever-growing legion of local fans who will certainly be out in full force on fight night. caught up with the friendly, well-spoken Pasadena, California-born banger to get his thoughts on his upcoming headlining bout.


“I’m really excited to get back in the ring”, said Ramirez, who said he would like to have “at least five fights this year.” Down time is not the friend of an energetic, young fighter who wants to fight often and test himself every chance he gets. “It’s been a while for me as I last fought in November. I like to be real active so I’m really looking forward to getting in there. I just train hard and stay ready all the time,” he said.


Ramirez and longtime coach Rafael Sarabia are well aware that April 2 will see Julian in with a tough customer in Hidalgo, who has shared ring time with prospects Jessie Magdaleno and Joseph Diaz Jr.


Hidalgo has been in the ring 35 times as a pro and has faced eight undefeated fighters. It is this brand of experience and toughness that is a great gauge for Ramirez and Golden Boy Promotions to see where they are at this stage of his career. “Whatever he brings, we will be ready for,” said Ramirez. “If he wants to brawl, I will box him and use movement. If he tries to box me, I will brawl him. This is going to be a tough fight. This guy has a lot of experience and is a good fighter. I am not taking him lightly.”


When asked about his nickname, “El Camaron” (“the shrimp”), he said it wasn’t because he was a smaller, lighter weight fighter. “No,” he said, “My grand-dad gave me that nickname when I was little and he would train me. I’d turn red, like a shrimp,” he said laughing. “It just kinda stuck with me.”


The only thing red these days with the Joel De La Hoya-managed Ramirez is the temperature of his career, which is red-hot indeed.


“I feel strong at 126,” said Ramirez “but, in time, I’d like to drop down to 122. There are a lot of good fights at 122 and a lot of good fights at 126. Whatever they can get me, 122, 126, I’ll be ready to go,” he said. “I gotta do my job and be impressive. I’ve won all my fights so far but I really want to impress and really show what I can do. This headline fight is a great opportunity for me. I am going to do my job. I’m my harshest critic.


“I wanna be impressive. I want to put on a great fight for the fans. I’m going to give them a great fight.”



Weekend update


* Gary Russell Jr. became the new WBC featherweight champion on Saturday evening when he stopped champion Jhonny Gonzalez in the fourth round. Russell dropped Gonzalez three times in the bout en route to his victory.


* Texas’ Charlo brothers stay unbeaten: Junior middleweight Jermell Charlo got by 2004 U.S. Olympian Vanes Martirosyan via scores of 97-93 and 96-94 twice. He swept all three cards but the fight was very close. His brother, middleweight Jermall Charlo beat Michael Finney over 10 rounds.


* Unbeaten IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook stopped No. 1-rated Jo Jo Dan on Saturday night in Sheffield, England when Dan didn’t come out for the fifth frame. Brook is looking to stay busy, saying he’d return in June. Brook also called out Amir Khan after the fight. If Khan can’t get the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao winner, facing Brook would be a huge event in England.


* Former world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. was back in the ring on Saturday night, fighting at 122 pounds, in Manila, Philippines. “The Filipino Flash” stopped William Prado in two rounds. It was Donaire’s first fight since his loss to WBA world champion Nicholas Walters last October in a featherweight title bout. Also on the card, WBO junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes retained his title with a ninth round TKO over Gilberto Parra.


* Score one for TV Azteca! Zanfer Promotions announced a new deal for TV Azteca to televise the next three fights of superstar Canelo Alvarez in Mexico. The three-fight deal begins with Canelo’s May 9 fight against James Kirkland.


* WBA #6 rated Shannon Briggs showed up in Panama City, Panama this week and walked around yelling “Let’s go, Champ!” to anyone within ear shot. Then on Friday night, he scored a first round KO over terribly overmatched Zoltan Petranyi.


* Working the same script as Briggs, former world champion Roy Jones Jr. beat Paul Vasquez by first round stoppage in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday night. It was the seventh straight win for Jones and Vasquez’s third straight stoppage loss.


* Looks like a battle between Jhonny Gonzalez and Golden Boy Promotions could be headed for the courtroom. According to Golden Boy, Gonzalez and his Mexican promoter, Promociones del Pueblo, teamed with manager Al Haymon and violated Golden Boy’s exclusive rights to promote Gonzalez. A complaint was filed against the fighter and the promotional company.


* Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield on Mayweather-Pacquiao: “So I’ll tell you what’s going to happen because it’s going to be a close fight. Yeah, it’ll be close and Pacquiao is going to get the decision. Then it’s going to be a matter of whether Mayweather is going to fight again, whether he feels like he has made enough money to say, ‘I ain’t got to fight.’”



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