NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – John “Scrappy” Ramirez will take on Luis Villa Padilla in a super flyweight fight Thursday at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. 

The 115-pound clash will be a “Golden Boy Fight Night” main event on DAZN.

Ramirez is one of boxing’s latest upstarts looking to make the leap in 2023.

Should Ramirez (10-0, 8 KOs) get past Padilla (15-3-2, 2 KOs), a WBA title eliminator awaits against him Sirichai Thaiyen (64-4, 42 KOs), with the winner in line to challenge the current WBA champion Joshua Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOs).

“I’m here to take over at 115 pounds. I’m not going anywhere,” the 26-year-old Los Angeles native Ramirez told in an interview. 

“I’ve only been boxing for seven years. I’m still learning as I’m fighting. I have a high ceiling. I’ve been talking my sh!t and walking the walk. On February 23, I’m going to make a statement.”

Ramirez is a free agent who’s fought his last three fights on Golden Boy Promotions undercards. 

He trains alongside Golden Boy stablemates Gilberto Ramirez, Joseph Diaz Jr, and Azat Hovhannisyan with coach Julian Chua at the Brickhouse Boxing Club.

Golden Boy president Eric Gomez is closely monitoring Ramirez with the intent to sign him should the wins keep coming. 

Gomez had high praises to speak for Ramirez ahead of the fighter’s first sizable opportunity. 

“He’s got power and quickness,” Gomez told in an interview. “His ring generalship is what I’m impressed with the most. His balance is perfect. He’s always in position. I expect great things. He can be a champion this year. This is just one step closer for him to a world title fight. All we could do is set it up and he has to take care of the rest.”

With the pieces to the plan in place, Ramirez is taking his upcoming test seriously. 

“Every fighter is dangerous. I'm not overlooking him, but I'm on a whole different level,” said Ramirez. “It's all about being patient. I can't make any mistakes. I'm going to let my actions in the ring speak for me now.” 

The 22-year-old Padilla will be making his United States debut. Padilla has bounced back to win two straight decisions after suffering three consecutive losses from 2019 to 2021. 

Padilla's last loss was a first-round KO and it came against Samuel Carmona, who gave Julio Cesar Martinez a tough test in December in a majority decision loss. 

“[Padilla is] my focus right now. But after that, I want the title eliminator. The main plan is a world title. I'm coming for the WBA championship,” said Ramirez. “I just need the opportunity. I’ll take care of the rest. That’s easy. Oftentimes getting the opportunity is the hard part.” 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at], or via