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Southern California Scene: Ramirez, Herrera, Rios, More

By Francisco Salazar

Unbeaten featherweight Julian Ramirez has been used to the cheers he has received as an amateur and as a young professional so far.

Ramirez has fought all four of his professional fights in and around Southern California. Family and friends have used the region’s extensive freeway system to watch and cheer Ramirez to victory in those fights.

This Saturday, Ramirez will travel halfway across the country to San Antonio, TX, where he will face Steven Gutierrez in a scheduled six round bout.

While people might think Ramirez may be in a little over his head traveling away from home to face a fighter who resides in Texas, think again.

“It doesn’t really bother me because I’ve fought there as an amateur,” Ramirez told Boxingscene.com earlier this week. “I actually have family and friends in San Antonio so I’m kind of excited to fight for them.”

The 19 year old Ramirez (4-0, 3 KOs) is coming off a first round knockout over Noel Mendoza in his last fight last month. His fan-friendly and aggressive style has caught the eye of many fight fans.

Although boxing insiders have noted that Ramirez’s style was more geared to the professional ranks as opposed to the amateurs, the East Los Angeles resident has made subtle adjustments as a pro.

“The gloves are lighter and smaller,” said Ramirez, who will be fighting for the fifth time in 2012. “When you hit someone, you feel the effects of it more than in the amateurs.”

Ramirez is managed by Joel De La Hoya, the older brother of Oscar De La Hoya, who is also managing a number of young fighters.

Ramirez, who is probably likely to campaign at 122 pounds, is grateful for all of the advice that he has gotten from De La Hoya. You will not see Ramirez in a fight that he is not ready for.

“Joel tells me to be patient and that my time will come, even during my fights. He tells me to get round in and that the knockout will come on its own. I train hard in the gym and sometimes I do go in for the kill. The knockout comes for me, even though I train to go the full amount of rounds.”

Regardless if Ramirez fights at 122 or 126 pounds, he does seem to have a bright future. He is hard-hitting, has good management and promoters behind him, and a humble personality that draws people to him. He knows he has a long way to go in the sport to accomplish his goal of winning a world title, but Ramirez, who likes playing FIFA 2013 and shoot pool whenever he is not in the gym, is determined to get there one day.

Who know? Maybe you would find yourself cheering for him one day.

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Another fighter from Southern California will be fighting away home this weekend, Junior welterweight Mauricio Herrera will fight unbeaten Karim Mayfield at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY on Saturday night.

The bout will be one of three bouts televised on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark.” Ironically, Herrera’s brother, Alberto, will also be fighting on the card in a non-televised bout against unbeaten Javier Flores.

Herrera (18-2, 7 KOs), who hails from Riverside, gave a very good account of himself in his last fight, losing a 10 round unanimous decision to then-unbeaten Mike Alvarado in April. The loss snapped a five-bout winning streak, which included victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Mike Dallas.

Both Herrera and Mayfield are in their early thirties, so a loss to either fighter could delay another significant move in their career. Herrera is confident that his ability and his level of competition will put him over the top.

“I’ve been there before,” Herrera told Boxingscene’s Thomas Gerbasi in a recent interview. “I’ve been in there more times than Mayfield, and I know what it takes. If you watch my fights, even up until the last round, I’ll give it everything.”

“I don’t think he knows what he’s getting into, especially in the late rounds, and I think he’s going to get a wakeup call. Mayfield’s a good fighter, but I think I’m gonna take it, I’m gonna beat him.”

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The Wild Card Gym in Hollywood and the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard garnering attention for the number of fighters training there. However, another gym is getting a lot of publicity lately with the fighters who have been training there as well.

The Azteca Gym in Bell was where Mike Alvarado trained prior to his October 13th bout. Current lightweight world title holder Miguel Vazquez has been training there prior to this Saturday’s title defense against Marvin Quintero.

That bout will also take place at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.

Former light flyweight world title holder Giovani Segura also trains at the gym, located along Gage Avenue.

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Golden Boy Promotions will stage a card at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim on Saturday, November 3rd. Telefutura will televise the card.

It was rumored that Ronny Rios would headline the card, but his manager Frank Espinoza told Boxingscene.com that Rios would likely fight on another date.

Ticket information for the card will be released shortly.

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