By Luis Sandoval
Amateur stand out Jose Ramirez is preparing for the most important trip of his life as he will be going to Brazil for the last Olympic qualifying round and trying to secure his spot on the 2012 USA Boxing Olympics team. Ramirez is not only one of the most decorated amateurs today, but one of the most accomplished amateurs period. Currently Ramirez has 141 amateur wins, 11 National championships and 6 consecutive USA National titles.
One may wonder why a guy like this isn’t already on the USA Boxing Olympics team.
Ramirez went undefeated in the Olympic trials dominating his competition but unfortunately, he drew former 2008 gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko at the world championships and lost a close fight that Ramirez thought he won.
Normally Jose would simply move on to the next qualifier but USA Boxing decided to do a “reload” round for the first time in the process which essentially put Ramirez back at square one. Ramirez would have to go through yet another Olympic trial similar to the one he had already won in order to qualify for the final world championships in Brazil.
Fortunately for Ramirez he went through the trials undefeated once again and is now just two fights away from officially stamping his ticket to London. He will need to win his two scheduled fights in Brazil and will then officially be on Team USA. Ramirez says he is even more prepared this time and has learned more things that he will implement in his fights.
“I have learned a lot since the last world championships. Such as breaking at the waist, turning your opponent, keeping a consistent rhythm and keeping your composure. I’m going to try and use all those things in the fights. I’ll use my intelligence a little bit more and fight smart and fight hard” said Ramirez to Boxingscene.com.
Becoming an Olympian is a lot of young fighters’ dream and Ramirez is no different. He’s worked extremely hard the last 2 years in order to get to the position he’s in now. Becoming an Olympian and a representative of the USA is something Jose can’t wait to experience.
“I’m looking forward to getting on that rollercoaster I’ll be getting on if I make it to the Olympics. There will be a lot of good things happening. All the smiles that I’m going to bring to Avenal, CA, Central Valley and to the US. One thing I’m looking forward to is making my family proud and making myself proud” stated the Avenal, CA native.
Aside from his talent and accomplishments, the one other thing that sets Ramirez apart is his early success in being able to pick up sponsorships and endorsement from various companies. Most recently he met with Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and is working on a deal to work with AquaHydrate which both Wahlberg and Combs are a part of.
It’s those types of opportunities that Ramirez’s business advisor Rick Mirigian has been able to secure for his young talented fighter.
“It’s been fun and exciting. Jose has more stuff in media, PR, branding and sponsor wise done for him than 9 out of 10 professionals that are out there right now that have records of 25-0 or 30-1. He’s got more in tune and lined up for him” explained Mirigian.
The road to achieving his dream has been a long and sometimes tough one for Ramirez.
Because of the extra reload round by USA Boxing, Jose had to beat former 2008 USA Olympian Raynell Williams three times in order to be able to secure an opportunity to be on the Team USA. It’s a process not many agree with because it forces guys like Jose to fight in an additional trials competition instead of preparing for the International qualifying round.
While its Jose’s ultimate goal to win a gold medal, regardless of what happens in London Jose will be turning professional before the end of the year. Jose currently fights at the Lightweight limit of 132 pounds and he’ll be a full 135 pound Lightweight when he turns pro. But Jose reassures making the Olympics team and making a run for a gold medal is all that’s on his mind right now.
“I’m going to do my best and for someone to beat me, they’re really going to have to fight really, really hard. And I’m going to respect them if they do because it won’t come easy. But I’m going to train hard. I’m going to train harder than ever” said Ramirez.
Jose is currently in Brazil now and will fight tonight in the first of his two bouts. If all goes as it should, he will be a 2012 United States Boxing Olympian.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewest007. You can also tune in to Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.