NEW YORK – One of boxing’s best and brightest young prospects will get a chance to show if he’s worthy of a world title shot in 2011 when undefeated and World Boxing Association (WBA) No.-1 ranked super bantamweight Rico Ramos takes on former world title challenger Alejandro Valdez on Friday, Feb. 11, LIVE on ShoBox: the New Generation on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West coast).
In the co-feature, a pair of super middleweight prospects will tangle as unbeaten rising knockout artist Cornelius White (16-0, 15 KOs), of Houston, faces Chicago’s Don George (20-1-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round affair from Bally’s Grand Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J.
Ramos, of Los Angeles, will look to keep his perfect 18-0 (10 KOs) record in tact when he faces Valdez (24-4-2, 17 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, in a 10-round 122-pound main event. Both Ramos and White are both represented by the show’s promoter Goossen Tutor Promotions.
“This is it. This is my time to shine,” said Ramos, who hails from Pico Rivera, CA is currently training out of Hawthorne, Calif., under the guidance of head coach Darnell Walker. “This is going to be a real step up for me. I know Alejandro plans to bring it on Feb. 11 but there is no way he stands in my way of a world title shot.”
Added Walker: “The intensity is up, you can just feel it. I just think because Rico knows he’s so close to a world title shot the focus has changed. He wants to be the next superstar of boxing and knows he’s a main event guy now.”
Ramos has shown flashes of brilliance and dominance and displays flat-out raw power. In his last fight he recorded a knockout worthy of a “Best of 2010” clip with a second-round one-punch annihilation of Heriberto Ruiz on Nov. 8, 2010. “Yeah, people are still talking about that one,” Ramos said. “It’s been all over Facebook and Twitter. A lot of people were shocked by it. A lot of people had me losing that fight.”
Ramos began boxing when he was just 8 years old at South LA's Broadway Boxing Gym. A strong amateur (97-17), Ramos competed in the national Golden Gloves championships and won a Silver Glove and PAL title. In 2007 he was a runner-up at the U.S. National Championships, losing to U.S. Olympian Raynell Williams.
Ramos made his professional debut in March of 2008 by winning a four-round shutout decision over Sammy Yniguez in San Jose, Calif.
The southpaw Valdez, 27, has lost two title shots, one coming in 2008 and the other in 2009. He was knocked out in the second round by then-bantamweight titlist Hozumi Hasegawa in 2008 and suffered an 11th-round knockout loss to Nehomar Cermeño in a 2009 interim title bout. Valdez owns a technical draw against bantamweight titlist Fernando Montiel in a 2009 nontitle fight. The referee, despite video replays showing differently, ruled a cut to Montiel was caused by a head butt rather than a punch.
He won his last two fights in Mexico, the only two he had in 2010. “It is great to get this fight to get me back on the map,” Valdez said. “I have tasted what it’s like to fight on boxing’s biggest stage. That experience will lead me to victory.”
On his opponent, Valdez said Ramos has good speed but is somewhat untested. “We want to test his chin. We want to be the first to give him a loss,” Valdez said.
The co-feature will pit “Da Beast” (White) fighting “Da Bomb” George, who was upset in his last fight by technical decision to Francisco Sierra. Prior to that, ShoBox fans remember George winning a unanimous decision over Osumanu Adama.
White, 29, is a native of Houston, Texas, and has knocked out all but one opponent. Newly signed by Goossen Tutor and TNT Productions, White is currently training at trainer Bobby Benton’s Houston gym and sparring with ShoBox alum Marcus Johnson.
White is looking to continue his knockout streak of 13 straight. The only time he didn’t register a KO during his career is when he got the decision over Larry Pryor back in 2008 in just his third professional fight.
Besides his last fight in Oakland, White has only fought in Texas and Arkansas.
“Ever since I’ve been with Dan Goossen he’s come through and gotten me the fights,” White said. “Now I’m on SHOWTIME and I can show the world what I have. One year from now I will be ready to fight for a world title.”
On his knockout streak, White commented: “It’s not like I’m trying to knock out guys, it just works out that way. I know if I train hard and I work hard then the knockouts will come.
“The super middleweights get a lot of attention on SHOWTIME. I’m in no rush. The fans will see a lot of action. George is a strong guy, but I’m coming. I’m not coming to play or to hug. I’m coming with my hands up. One of us is going to get knocked out and it won’t be me.”
The 26-year-old George last appeared on ShoBox on April 30, 2010, in his hometown of Chicago, Ill.
George is hoping to display his patented back flip he does in the ring after every win. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get people to remember and recognize me,” he said. “Training has been great and I just feel really confident.”
George was the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Chicago Golden Gloves amateur champion at 147, 178 and 165 pounds, respectively. George suffered his first loss on July 30, 2010, when he lost to Sierra by decision after seven rounds.
George was inactive for one year and nine months from August, 2007 to May, 2009.
Curt Menefee will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.