By Francisco Salazar
“Why don't more (unbeaten) fighters face each other?”
That is a question that boxing fans have asked often, but it seems that questions is being asked more lately. That question seems to be directed at a few fighters who are perceived to be protecting their '0' more than take chances against solid opposition.
Julian Ramirez is an unbeaten fighter and still has a ways before he can call himself a legit contender. But the 22-year-old is up to the task of one day facing unbeaten fighters.
He will face his toughest challenge to date Friday night when he fights former fringe contender Christopher Martin at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles.
The 10 round bout will top a Golden Boy Promotions card and will air live on Estrella TV, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT. RingTVLive will also air the fight, along with preliminary action, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT.
In his last bout on October 3, Ramirez (15-0, 8 KOs) won a one-sided 10 round decision over Hugo Partida in Carson, Calif.
He faces a more-difficult challenge in Martin, who has over 35 pro fights of experience and has faced solid opposition throughout his career. Martin has lost four of his last five fights and has not fought since May 29.
“I've seen him come up as a young fighter while I was growing up,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com in a recent phone interview. “He is a good boxer. He's slick. I've seen him fight on television. Anything that he brings to the fight, I'll be ready for. ”
Ramirez has improved his skill-set to compliment his power over the last couple of years. Four of his last six bouts have gone the distance against modest opposition.
Ramirez will be fighting again at the Belasco Theatre, where Golden Boy, his promoter, has continued to build a fan base for their young fighters who reside in the Southern California-area.
“It's a 10-minute drive from my house in East L.A.,” said Ramirez, who is managed by Joel De La Hoya. “My parents just drive across the 6th Street bridge. I enjoy having family and friends watch me and the support I get from them.”
Ramirez enjoys fighting and is likely found jogging through the streets of East Los Angeles or in the gym.
While he readies himself to face Martin, Ramirez yearns to fight top-level fighters within the next year to two. His mentality of facing higher-level opposition will bring the best out of him.
“I'm happy taking fights and I want to eventually fight the best out there. I enjoy the competition. I know I'm coming up little by little and more people are going to know about me. That is why I don't want to come across as being picky. I can't.”
“I laugh when unbeaten fighters don't want to fight tough competition. I think it's good for boxing when unbeaten fighters fight other unbeaten fighters. Or the best fight the best. Why don't they fight each other? It's like they're scared to lose. I'm not scared to take a challenge. A loss is a loss.”
Not that he envisions losing anytime soon, but it is refreshing to see fighters like Ramirez who don't mind jumping into the deeper end of the talent pool and mixing it up.
Ramirez is getting better and sooner or later, those difficult fights are now coming his way. He faces a tough challenge in Martin, who has wins over unbeaten fighters and has faced all types of styles in his almost 10 years as a pro.
Martin's resume is well-noted, as Ramirez is up to the challenge of one day facing those same type of fighters.
“I've always felt that you have to beat the man to be the man. I don't want my career to be defined by fighting taxi or bus drivers. I know I'm fighting for the vacant WBC Youth title, but bigger things await me. I'm happy to be fighting and I don't mind facing unbeaten fighters.”
“Champs should fight champs. I'm willing to take those opportunities and it starts with Martin on January 29.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco 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