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Months Later, Rico Ramos Anxious For Rigondeaux Fight

By Jake Donovan

January 20 cannot get here fast enough for Rico Ramos.

The unbeaten super bantamweight saw his patience put to the test when his upcoming showdown with Guillermo Rigondeaux endured multiple postponements before settling on next Friday’s date at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Showtime will televise the alphabet title fight, which pits two of the brightest young stars in the 122 lb. division against one another. The bout will air in a special edition of Shobox: The New Generation.

The series of changes saw the bout scheduled in four different venues on four different networks, though all signs seem to point towards go for a fight that should go a long way towards shaping up the ever changing picture in the super bantamweight division.

“I can’t like, it’s been frustrating,” Ramos (20-0, 11KO) admits of the stop-and-start treatment lent to making this fight. “We still get in the gym and work. We took time off, just a week and then got back in Las Vegas. Training camp is going very well. We’re ready to get in there.”

The bout was originally slated to take place on the undercard of the December 3 HBO PPV show headlined by Miguel Cotto’s revenge-fueled stoppage of Antonio Margarito. A misunderstanding in the pay structure led to the title fight being scrapped and sent to a purse bid.

Top Rank was the only promoter to show up for the bid, and made plans to air it on their December 17 Top Rank Live show from Thackerville, OK on Fox Deportes. However, the Las Vegas-based promoter eventually decided to turn over the fight’s rights to Goossen-Tutor Promotions, whom promotes Ramos.

Goossen-Tutor made plans to showcase the bout on a special New Year’s Eve edition of Showtime Championship Boxing. The show was slated to take place in Anaheim, less than 30 minutes from Ramos’ hometown of Pico Rivera, California. Those plans changed after the evening’s headliner – a light heavyweight showdown between Tavoris Cloud and Zsolt Erdei – fell through after Erdei suffered an injury, with Showtime deciding to scrap the card altogether.

If it wasn’t for bad luck…

Still, Ramos had every reason to remain optimistic – and more importantly, patient. It was his calmness under pressure that allowed him to rally from behind to score a rare dramatic stoppage of Akifumi Shimoda in a title winning effort last July. Ramos was down on the cards when he rallied back to stop the Japanese southpaw in the 7th round of their HBO-televised co-feature bout.

The delay in his upcoming bout with Rigondeaux leaves him more anxious to move on from that night, one that remains a career-best win but also featured some of his worst moments as a pro prior to reaching victory.

“It was nerves and I was real stiff in that fight,” Ramos admits. “When I got cut, I didn’t want it to go the judges. I had to bring it to him. He slowed down after the 5th. That’s when the knockout came.”

Six months, he’s anxious for his next fight to come. Barring any fluke injuries or occurrences between now and then, it appears that Ramos will have the chance to show that his title winning effort was for real and that he’s to be taken seriously in the super bantamweight division.

“I feel ready, I feel fresh. I’m ready to show everybody why I’m the champ. We have a plan for everything he plans to do. After that, I just want to get them belts. Whatever is available, I’m there. Whoever has a title, I’m willing to step in the ring.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

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