By Ryan Maquiñana
2012 Olympian lightweight Jose Ramirez has signed a multi-year promotional deal with Top Rank.
“We did it ,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com. “I think Top Rank has always been a strong company. They’ve built a lot of top prospects. I need someone who’s going to build me right and push me hard. They’ve been around awhile and have the most experience.”
Ramirez, a 20-year-old native of Avenal, Calif., will make his pro debut Dec. 8 on the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“It’s awesome,” Ramirez said. “I feel very blessed to be getting that exposure to show people what I have early on. I’m being told that the highlights will be taped and shown on the pay-per-view.”
According to his agent Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s JCR Promotions company will co-promote the shows with Top Rank.
“We plan to have two or three fights a year in his home region of the Central Valley [in California],” Mirigian said.
“We like Golden Boy, but it went down to a business decision, and at the end of the day, it came down to what was the best decision for Ramirez, and Top Rank showed up and stepped up their belief in Jose.”
Negotiations had escalated with Golden Boy, but Ramirez ended up signing with their archrival.
“I’m very happy with everything and what they offered me,” he said. “I don’t think anyone could give me a bigger deal. It was up and down with Golden Boy, and they had a great deal, too, but I felt I made the right choice.”
Ramirez is the first 2012 American Olympian to fight under the Top Rank banner, as six of his teammates have signed with Golden Boy and five will make their debut Friday night in Indio, Calif.
“I want to wish them the best,” Ramirez said of his teammates. “It’s going to be a great night for my Olympian teammates. Hopefully they get victories, fight hard, and fight smart.”
As for Ramirez, he is primed to make his own impression on the boxing world--especially after a second-round loss in the Olympics to Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan.
“I feel this is a new beginning for me, a new chapter to write,” Ramirez said. Unfortunately I didn’t get the results I wanted in the Olympics, so I want to show the world that even though I didn’t get the gold, I have what it takes to be a world champion. I’ll continue to work hard on this new stage.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.