By Chris Robinson
Heading into his January 20th fight with two-time Gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux from Cuba, WBA junior featherweight champion Rico Ramos is craving his underdog role. Completely comfortable with the fact that the accolades and polished skills of Rigondeaux have given him most of the headlines heading in, Ramos has enough reason to believe he will pull off the upset in his Showtime-televised affair.
Ramos found himself in a deep hole in his last fight as he challenged then-titlist Akifumi Shimoda in Atlantic City on July 9th. Ramos was in a funk early and trailing clearly through six rounds but uncorked a viscous left hook in the seventh that sent his Japanese foe to the canvas and ended the fight.
Now a champion at just 24 years old, Ramos will likely be finding his share of doubters from this point forward but it’s something he is certainly relishing.
I caught up with the Carson, California native to get his take on why he feels he is a superior fighter to Rigondeaux, what is was like pulling victory from the jaws of defeat against Shimoda, his take on the February 4th Nonito Donaire-Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. bout, and more.
This is what Ramos had to share as he spoke prior to training at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas…
Winning his world title on HBO’s airwaves…
“It was pretty intense. Just being on HBO and a world title, it kind of got to me. When I got in there I tensed up. I kinda went to the left side. I wasn’t listening to my trainers or nothing like that like in training camp. And I was basically doing my own thing. That’s probably the reason I was falling behind on the scorecards. Once I recuperated, once I listened to my coaches and listened to my corner men, that’s when I was like ‘You know what? I’m behind, I got cut, this is what I dreamed for’. I didn’t want them to stop it on no cut or on points or whatever. So I had to just get in there and do what I had to do and get that ‘W’”.
Behind on the scorecards against Shimoda…
“What’s crazy, I was worried that I was behind but at the same time, I might have won the first round, and the second, third, fourth, and fifth I lost. I was going to come back on the sixth and up. I had my focus on that, so when the cut had came, that’s when I had to turn it up basically.”
His left hook that ended the fight…
“It came as a surprise. I didn’t really think I was going to knock him out or knock him down but when that came I was like ‘If he gets up I got to take him back down’. But he tried to get up and the referee stopped it.”
A whole different person…
“Right now I’m the underdog, I know. He had 400 amateur fights, eight pro fights. Pro is a whole different game. And he really aint fought nobody. We got a game plan, strategy, and I’m just going to give y’all the best of me. Y’all going to see a whole different person. I’m ready. The fight was cancelled on the 31st and it gave me more time to get ready and we’ve been working at it on training camp. We’ve been working on it in sparring and we are ready.”
Not worried about Rigondeaux's dismissive comments of him..
Tags: Guillermo Rigondeaux , Rico Ramos , Ramos-Rigondeaux , Ramos vs Rigondeaux
“I’m going to just roll with the flow. That’s what you have to do in this boxing game sometimes. He’s a tough, strong fighter but he’s not stronger than me, he’s not faster than me. I’m just going to do what I do in the ring. That’s just it.”