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News: Ramos vs. Rios; British Lionhearts; Caballero

Sherman Oaks, Calif. - Former WBA World Super Bantamweight titleholder Rico Ramos (21-1, 11 KOs) is prepared to halt 22-year-old Ronny Rios' (19-0, 9 KOs) ascension to becoming a world contender by giving Rios his first professional loss as the two battle for the NABF Featherweight Title in a bout to be televised on SHOWTIME® SHOBOX: The New Generation series at 11:15 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast this Friday.

Ramos enters the fight with a vengeance with the memory of surrendering the WBA World Super Bantamweight belt to the very talented Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux a year ago still fresh in his mind and knowing a victory Friday puts him right back into the world championship picture.

The 25-year-old nicknamed "Suavecito" had won the title with a seventh-round one-punch knockout of Akifumi Shimoda in July 2011.

In his most recent bout this past June, Ramos battled back from his first career loss to overcome then-undefeated Efrain Esquivias by decision in a thrilling eight-round fight. He aims to do the same to the undefeated Rios.

"It's a big fight for Rico," stated Ramos promoter Dan Goossen. "There's no doubt he's got the talent to come away with the victory."

Ramos has taken the Rios challenge agreeing to a weight of 126 pounds, although he has hovered around 122 pounds for the duration of his five-year professional career.

"I have no problem making 122 [pounds], but I feel strong and good at 126 for this fight," Ramos said of his weight. "I want the opportunity to test the waters at 126 and see what's out there for me."

The event, which will be hosted by Fantasy Springs Casino Resort in Indio, Calif., is being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions with the Ramos-Rios bout in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions.

On Friday, January 11, the 2013 boxing season gets off to an explosive start at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. with a ShoBox: The Next Generation doubleheader featuring fights between top undefeated prospect Ronny Rios and former World Champion Rico Ramos for the vacant NABF Featherweight Championship and undefeated rising stars Daquan Arnett and Brandon Quarles. Also featured will be local favorite Randy Caballero, who returns to the venue where he has scored 10 of his 17 professional wins in a 10-round bantamweight fight against Mexicali's Luis Maldonado. The ShoBox: The New Generation telecast will air live on SHOWTIME at 11:15 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Plus, hot undefeated prospects Julian Ramirez, Gerald Washington and Santiago Guevara are joined by 2012 United States Olympian Dominic Breazeale in other undercard action.

Rios vs. Ramos, a 10 round for the vacant NABF Featherweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. PT on fight night with the first bell sounding at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Tickets, priced at $25, $35 and $45, are available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com .

Plus, making a special appearance to meet and greet fans in attendance will be Mexican legend and future Hall of Famer Erik "El Terrible" Morales.

One of Southern California's most popular fighters, Randy Caballero (17-0, 9 KO's) has been untouchable in his fights at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino where he brings out his legions of fans to cheer him on every night out. The current NABO bantamweight champion, the 22-year-old "El Matador" will kick off 2013 at home in a 10-round battle against Luis Maldonado. Hailing from Mexicali, the 34-year-old Maldonado (36-10-1, 27 KO's) is a three-time world title challenger who has faced the likes of Nonito Donaire, Vic Darchinyan, Eric Morel and Fernando Montiel, making him the most experienced foe Caballero has ever faced.

19-year-old southpaw Julian Ramirez (5-0, 4 KO's) had a successful opening year as a professional boxer, winning all five of his matches and ending three of them with opening round knockouts. Fresh off of impressive wins over fellow prospects Noel Mendoza and Steve Gutierrez, the Los Angeles junior featherweight who is the nephew of the late, great Genaro "Chicanito" Hernandez, takes on Tijuana's Sergio Najera (4-8) in a six-round matchup.

Already 2-0 as a professional, Alhambra, California's Dominic Breazeale (2-0, 2 KO's) has ended both of his fights by knockout, showing off the power that allowed him to soar up the amateur ladder and into the 2012 Olympics. On Friday, the 27-year-old former University of Northern Colorado quarterback tries to go three for three when he battles Lake Odessa, Michigan's Caleb Grummet (3-2-1, 2 KO's) in a four-round fight.

In more heavyweight action, unbeaten Gerald Washington (5-0, 4 KO's) meets Atlanta's DJ Hugley (1-5, 1 KO) in a four-round battle and in a lightweight contest scheduled for four rounds, Montebello's Santiago Guevara (4-0, 2 KO's) faces Tijuana's Juan Zuniga (4-8-1, 1 KO).

The British Lionhearts will take-on the Ukraine Otamans in Kiev tomorrow in the team’s first competitive outing of 2013 in the World Series of Boxing.

Sean McGoldrick from Wales, Sam Maxwell from England and Scotland’s Aston Brown will box in a tough away fixture for the Lionhearts alongside international selections Babacar Kamara of Sweden and Tonga’s Uaine Fa.

The match is the fifth fixture of the season for the British Lionhearts who currently sit second in Group B of the World Series of Boxing on nine points with three wins and one defeat.  The Otamans are fifth in the table with five points following one win and three defeats.

The contest, which will be held in the Acco International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, begins at 10.00pm (GMT) on Friday 11th January 2013 and is being televised live on ESPN at Sky SD/HD 417, Virgin 529, Virgin HD 530, BT Vision / Top Up TV / Freeview Channel 34.

It can also be watched live online at http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldSeriesBoxing .

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