Since making his professional debut in San Jose, Calif. in March of 2008 the undefeated Rico Ramos has steadily worked his way up the rankings. In just under three years he has compiled an impressive record of 18-0 (10 KOs) and has secured the number one contender spot in the WBA’s junior featherweight rankings. This Friday night he takes another step towards his goal of becoming a world champion as he takes on veteran Mexican slugger Alejandro Valdez in the main event of Showtime Sports Shobox: The New Generation fight series from Bally’s Grand Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J.
The televised co-feature will pit the hard hitting Cornelius White, who looks to remain unbeaten, as he steps into the ring with fellow super middleweight prospect Don George of Chicago.
In just under three years Ramos, who resides in Southern California, has gone from an intriguing prospect to the WBA’s number one contender in the junior featherweight (122 lbs.) division. The champion is the relatively unknown Retsuri Lee. But before Ramos can get to challenge for Lee’s title he must get past Valdez under the bright lights of Atlantic City.
“This is it. This is my time to shine,” said Ramos, who hails from Pico Rivera , CA is currently training out of Hawthorne , Calif. , under the guidance of head coach Darnell Walker. “This is going to be a real step up for me. I know Alejandro plans to bring it on Feb. 11 but there is no way he stands in my way of a world title shot.”
Coach Walker also understands the gravity of a win for Ramos as he adds: “The intensity is up, you can just feel it. I just think because Rico knows he’s so close to a world title shot the focus has changed. He wants to be the next superstar of boxing and knows he’s a main event guy now.”
Being a main event guy may be new to Ramos, but winning clearly isn’t. After his first 13 wins Ramos picked up the vacant WBO NABO Youth super bantamweight title he went on to collect another five wins while defending his regional strap twice in the process. His most recent outing occurred in November when he knocked out former world title challenger Heriberto Ruiz in just two rounds.
“Yeah, people are still talking about that one,” Ramos said. “It’s been all over Facebook and Twitter. A lot of people were shocked by it. A lot of people had me losing that fight.”
A win over Valdez on Saturday helps Ramos become a world title challenger in his own right. First he must manage to get past Valdez (24-4-2, 17 KOs), who picked up two wins last year in Mexico, who is ready to get his once promising career back on track.
“It is great to get this fight to get me back on the map,” Valdez said. “I have tasted what it’s like to fight on boxing’s biggest stage. That experience will lead me to victory.
“We want to test his chin. We want to be the first to give him a loss,” Valdez added.
As mentioned, the other feature is matchup between White and George. White is clearly relishing the opportunity provided to him by his promotional team.
“Ever since I’ve been with Dan Goossen he’s come through and gotten me the fights,” White said. “Now I’m on Showtime and I can show the world what I have. One year from now I will be ready to fight for a world title.”
A world title might be a little further down the road but as long as he keeps putting together the wins as he has he’ll be well on his way to challenging for one of the division’s major titles. Especially if he does so in such impressive fashion. After registering a unanimous decision in his third fight, White has stopped his last 13 opponents inside of the scheduled distance.
“It’s not like I’m trying to knock out guys, it just works out that way. I know if I train hard and I work hard then the knockouts will come," White said. "The super middleweights get a lot of attention on Showtime. I’m in no rush. The fans will see a lot of action. George is a strong guy, but I’m coming. I’m not coming to play or to hug. I’m coming with my hands up. One of us is going to get knocked out and it won’t be me.”
Curt Menefee will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts Friday, Feb. 11 live on Showtime® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) From Bally’s Grand Ballroom, Atlantic City , N.J. .
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Original article can be found at SportsBettingWorld.com