Adjusting and adapting to change during a fight within the squared circle comes with the territory in the sport of boxing. For featherweight Miguel Flores, he had to adapt and adjust several times during and after training camp leading up to his fight with Eduardo Ramirez on the Spence-Garcia undercard at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, tonight. Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) has been embroiled in a game of musical chairs with his opponents over the last several weeks.
"That's how boxing is," Flores said. "There's always changes and you've got to make adjustments."
Flores, 27, was originally scheduled to face Chris Avalos in a rematch on the card. In 2017, Flores had won every round and dropped Avalos in the third only to lose by TKO in the fifth due to a cut that Flores insisted was caused by a headbutt but was ruled by the referee the result of a punch. Avalos inexplicably pulled out of the rematch three weeks ago and Isaac Avelar was brought in as a replacement. Flores had to overhaul his training camp since Avalos was right handed and Avelar a southpaw.
Meanwhile, Ramirez (23-2-3, 10 KOs) was originally scheduled to face former titleholder Julio Ceja on the same card. But Ceja tested positive for Covid-19 five days prior to fight night and was removed from the card. On short notice, Flores stepped in for the upgrade. Against Ramirez, he would now be fighting for a marginal title of one alphabet organization and a title eliminator of another. Moreover, Ramirez, like Avelar, is a southpaw.
"We already got three weeks of sparring with lefthanded guys anyways," said Flores' trainer Aaron Navarro. "We were already prepared for a southpaw in the second half of camp."
"We saw, more than anything, the reward that would come if, God willing, we beat Ramirez," Flores said. "It'd be a lot more than it was initially so that's why we decided to take the fight. It's for a WBA title eliminator and for a WBC Continental Americas belt so that's why we decided to take the risk."
The last time Flores faced a southpaw was in 2016 when he outpointed Ruben Tomayo over 10 rounds.
"In the gym you're always in there with lefties," Flores said. "Obviously every fight is different but I think we're going to be able to make adjustments."
"I think my skill set is all around better than Ramirez's. He's a tough opponent but I think we can outbox him and at times - why not - we can exchange with him just keeping it smart."
Both Flores and Ramirez had previously challenged for world titles. In his last bout, Flores lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Leo Santa Cruz last November. Ramirez, 27, lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Lee Selby in 2017.
"It (the Santa Cruz fight) was definitely a confidence booster," Flores said. "I went 12 rounds with one for the best in the last 10 years. We saw a lot of things that we could have adjusted in that fight and there's a lot of things I could bring from that fight to this fight. One other thing is that at this point in my career, I'm a veteran now. I'm a crafty veteran and I'm not that kid no more that used to be pushed around by veterans. I can dig deep in there and I think I can stop this guy with a good body shot."