By Luis Sandoval
The 2012 USA Boxing Olympics team is ready to embark on their journey to try and capture Olympic gold. One of the standouts of this Olympics team is Jose Ramirez who hails from Avenal, CA and is the representative for the USA in the 132 pound lightweight division.
A few weeks ago, BoxingScene caught up with Ramirez as he completed his work out at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA. Ramirez was in Los Angeles to throw out the first pitch at the Dodgers game and took advantage of the trip by visiting the gym and getting in a full workout. Ramirez liked the idea of training at a gym that houses some of the best fighters in the world as well as his friend Freddie Roach.
“It’s a great honor to be at a gym like Wild Card. A lot of great athletes come here and train here. They share the same bags. They hit the same bags. I needed to put my workout in so I came in here. Freddie Roach is a good guy, he always welcomes me with a great hug and a good friendship” said Ramirez after a hard day of training.
You can tell how fond Roach is of Ramirez as he took the time to come over while I was talking to Ramirez and paid him the highest of compliments. Roach who worked with the Olympics team before knows Ramirez well and expects him to go far in London.
Ramirez did everything possible to get as much training and experience before he traveled overseas with the rest of the Olympics team. He’s no stranger to working with professionals and in fact, he had been getting in some quality sparring with a recognizable name.
“I [was in] Lake Tahoe sparring Robert Guerrero. I was doing six rounds with him in Lake Tahoe. We were putting in good work together so it’s a great honor. I feel like I’m stepping up to another level. I’m ready 100% and hopefully I come back with the gold” shared the 11 time National champion.
Ramirez has a very close relationship with his parents who were actually at the Wild Card watching their son train. Oscar De La Hoya who was also at the gym for Amir Khan’s media workout talked to Ramirez’s parents and also shared words with the young boxer who could be a potential future Golden Boy fighter.
The USA Boxing program produced only one bronze medal in the last Olympics in 2008. This 2012 Olympics class has shown a lot of promise and Jose feels he’s ready to take on the best fighters in the world. It has been a long road to becoming an Olympian but he feels he’s well prepared and his experience will be the difference.
“I’m 100% prepared mentally and physically. I’ve fought the best. I fought the gold medalist from 2008. I fought the number 3 guy from Italy when I was 17 and in his hometown. I’ve been training and I’m older. I’m stronger. I’m faster. I’m more explosive. I’ve been doing more strength and conditioning in the morning and training in the evenings” informed Ramirez.
The last American to win Olympic gold in the Lightweight division was Oscar De La Hoya in 1992 in Barcelona. 20 years later, Ramirez hopes to accomplish the same when he heads to London. He assures he’s ready to leave his heart in the ring in order to achieve his dream of being an Olympic gold medalist.
“I feel ready. Now that I got there I’m still going to go there hungry. You know the journey’s not over until it’s over”.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.