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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Luis Ramos: The Next Great Lightweight

As an eight-year-old boy, Luis Ramos was on his way to church when he came across a building with bright, shining lights. After entering the building, Ramos realized it was a gym that offered a variety of sports such as soccer, basketball and boxing. Having a mother from Guatemala and a father from Mexico, Ramos' early passion was soccer. However, a new infatuation quickly developed after a lady told him the gym offered boxing.                    

"I didn't know they had boxing in there. No one ever boxed in my family," said Ramos. 

Ramos immediately fell in love with the sport once he saw kids hitting the punching bags. This moment marked the beginning to a career as a professional prizefighter.

Hector Lopez, who currently trains Ramos, noticed Ramos repeatedly coming to the gym and shadow boxing. After Lopez started training him, a close relationship evolved. Later, they won national tournaments together. Ramos, who fights southpaw and is naturally left handed, fought in 126 amateur bouts. Today, Ramos credits much of his success in the ring to Lopez.

"My trainer is my biggest strength in the ring," stated Ramos. "He puts in the hard work with me. Hector helps with my power, speed and angle movement. We work on mistakes and correct them."

Lopez also inspired the 21-year-old fighter outside the ring.
"Hector has been like a second dad to me; He taught me the value of real life," said Ramos.

Since turning professional in 2007, Ramos has compiled a record of 13-0, 7 KO's. He displays exceptional balance, and demonstrates a tremendous amount of patience when placing his punches. His maturity is exhibited by the way he sits down on his punches, which is something he constantly works on in the gym.

On February 25th, Ramos will be back in the ring at Club Nokia, Los Angeles, California, to face Walter Estrada in a six round bout. He started preparing for this fight in January. Ramos believes a fighter's most important element is training.

"Training is 100% everything," said Ramos. "If you are putting all your time into studying, running and sparring, you should not have any problems. It has made me a greater fighter in life."

In his last bout, Ramos executed a perfect game plan, scoring a one-sided, six round unanimous decision over Cristian Favela. Ramos worked behind his jab in the first two rounds. Next, he opened up his arsenal with an aggressive body attack.

Ramos acknowledged, "I study my opponents in the first round. Some people think I start slow, but I always take my time. It helps me adapt to different styles. After that, I look for openings or gaps to break my opponents down. Then, we make adjustments in between rounds."

"When I shoot the jab, my left hand kicks in fast," stated Ramos. "Knowing where to hit comes naturally for me. As I am fighting, I am thinking at the same time. Hector taught me how to land perfect combinations to the body. I hit him with very hard shots. He was tough and wouldn't go down. I tried to do different things every round. If the body was open, I would work downstairs and finish upstairs. I listened to my corner and everything went well. They have made me successful in life."

Ramos fought four times in 2009, and hopes to be just as active in 2010. His goals for 2010 are well defined.

"I want to keep doing what I am doing," said Ramos. "I am focused on competing and staying undefeated."

The lightweight division has many talented fighters including Edwin Valero, Juan Manuel Marquez, Rolando Reyes, Humberto Soto, Ali Funeka, Michael Katsidis and Joan Guzman. While it would be an accomplishment to face a top ten lightweight, Ramos is not looking that far ahead. He is taking things one step at a time.

"It would be great to fight for a minor title this year, but I don't want to look too far down the road yet," stated Ramos. 

Although he also admits, "I want to prove myself and compete at an elite level like Michael Jordan in basketball."

Luis Ramos is managed by Frank Espinoza, and is one of several talented boxers representing the Espinoza Boxing Club. His stablemates include Israel Vazquez, Abner Mares, Abraham Lopez, Ronny Rios, Manny "Suavecito" Roman, Jesus "Pollo" Hernandez and Carlos Molina, who Ramos fought as an amateur.

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