By Francisco Salazar
After a stellar 2014, what could be in store for Gilberto Ramirez?
If you were an investor, maybe the time is now to invest in the unbeaten super middleweight.
Ramirez will fight Maxim Vlasov in a 10 round bout tonight at the FirstBank Center in the Denver suburb of Broomfield. The bout will precede the Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios welterweight bout.
Both bouts will be televised live on HBO, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/ 6:45 p.m. PT.
In his last bout on November 15 in San Antonio, Ramirez stopped hard-hitting Fulgencio Zuniga in the eighth round. The win capped a four-victory campaign in 2014 and thrust him onto the world stage in the process.
Top Rank, which promotes Ramirez, is now pushing the 23 –year-old.
“I’m very proud that they are taking notice of me and putting the spotlight on me,” Ramirez told Boxingscene.com in an interview over the phone earlier this week. “It’s my job to work hard. I work hard in different ways so I could improve as a fighter.”
Boxing fans have sure taken notice with the fighter from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. His popularity on both sides of the border has increased in recent fights, thanks to his aggressive boxer-puncher style.
He will face an almost mirror image of himself tonight against Vlasov. Originally from Russia, Vlasov has fought on a handful of club shows in Southern California and trained for a while at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard.
It is a solid match-up between Ramirez and Vlasov, one Ramirez believes he will grind out.
“It’s going to be a difficult fight. (Vlasov) is a tall and aggressive fighter who comes forward. It’s going to be a very good fight. But I know how to box. Experience helps in every fight and I believe that will be key for me in this fight.”
Ramirez trained for the fight in Big Bear Lake, California. He has trained in previous fights at the Rock Gym in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.
While he is proud to represent the fighting state of Sinaloa, Ramirez understands that to advance his career, he has to work and fight in the United States. It has been a winning recipe thus far, one he expects will continue after the Vlasov fight and into 2015.
“My career is here. My concentration and focus is better training in the United States. I have no problems making 168 pounds and maybe in a year or two, I could move up.”
“I’m happy with the support boxing fans have given me. I do want to be a superstar in the sport. I want people to know who I am.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing