By Barbara Pinnella
Julian Ramirez is looking forward to his fight on Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Hotel and Casino in Indio, CA, but for more than one reason. Yes, he wants to fight of course, but there is another motivation. “I’m making weight, but I do want to eat!” he said.
The 19-year-old is undefeated in his early professional career, with five fights in 2012 and five wins, three of which came by way of first round knockouts. It took a while to get an opponent, but on Friday he will face off with Sergio Najera (4-8, 2 KOs).
“I’ve had two opponents and both fights fell through,” he said. “For my first five fights it’s been like that, so I’m getting used to it.”
There were fighters on his mom’s side of the family, so that’s why Ramirez started going to the gym when he was 12 years old. One of his cousins was training, and told Julian that he could take him out.
“That first day we sparred he beat me up! Being competitive I started training. I got back at him. My Grandpa and everyone else said that I was good – a natural. I don’t know if they were just telling me that to make me fight, but I stayed in the gym.
“I had 78 amateur fights and I won Amateur Nationals a lot. But since I was 16 I always wanted to go pro. When I was 15 or 16 I was sparring with (Jorge) Arce and I was doing good. I never wanted to stay in the amateurs because I never had the amateur style. People were telling me to go pro, but I was listening to my parents.”
His parents wanted him to finish high school first, which he did – a year early. His mother really did not want him to turn pro, mainly because she didn’t want him fighting without headgear. Obviously, she lost that argument.
“She said that now I better work out hard. She’s on me 24/7. She told me she doesn’t want me to get knocked out, because if I do, when I wake up she’s gonna knock me out again,” he laughed.
When his first two fights ended in first round knockouts, it was a bit of a surprise to Ramirez. “I was kind of shocked that they went down so fast. But I was feeling the difference, like the smaller gloves. I was hitting them hard. And I got hit too, and I was feeling the difference; the smaller gloves and no headgear.
“Everybody kept telling me not to get overconfident. We’re big boxing fans so we’ve seen people that don’t have power knock out people a lot stronger, so you’ve got to be careful.”
While Julian is dedicated to his boxing, he has other interests as well. “I have an indoor soccer team, like a league? That’s my getaway right there. I play on three different teams. We’re in first place with two of them and in third in the other. First place gets $3000. So we’re already in the semi-finals. We’re almost there – two more games.
“I did a lot of other sports before boxing. I was very athletic. Soccer was my first sport. Then came baseball, football, and then basketball. I did all those. But when I was playing basketball I jammed one of my fingers, so they didn’t want me to play that anymore. I used to race go-carts, too. But the boxing I’ve stuck with.
“When I’m not doing that I play my X-Box online. I don’t have a lot of friends that I go out with; I have three friends that I hang out with. We just mess around at the house or go out to movies, bowling, things like.”
Right now he does have an all-time goal in boxing. “I want to win a belt at 122, and then unify the belt at 122. I’d like to unify a weight class.”
Keep an eye out for Ramirez. He is yet another young gun who wants to make his mark in the sport of boxing, and he has the tools to do so.
The fight is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and is for ShoBox: The New Generation. It will be televised live on SHOWTIME at 11:15 p.m. ET/PT.