LAS VEGAS – Jesus Ramos isn’t merely motivated to beat Erickson Lubin in impressive fashion Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The emerging junior middleweight contender wants to show that he isn’t just a pure pressure fighter who can only come forward and try to wear down an opponent. The 22-year-old Ramos plans to display the different dimensions to his game against an experienced, skilled, strong southpaw who has fought several of the most formidable fighters in the 154-pound division.
“I feel like people just always say, ‘He’s a come-forward fighter, a strong fighter,’ ” Ramos told a small group of reporters after a press conference Thursday at MGM Grand. “But I feel like there’s more to my game. I am a smart fighter. I have a lot of ring IQ. You know, I’ve done a lot of things in sparring matches that [make me] feel like I’m not just that. You know, I’m not just a pressure fighter. And I’m excited to show all of that Saturday night.”
Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs), of Casa Grande, Arizona, is consistently listed as at least a 4-1 favorite to beat Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs), who needs to knock off this young, powerful southpaw to reposition himself for a title shot. Showtime Pay-Per-View will air Ramos-Lubin as its co-feature before Canelo Alvarez defends his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles against Jermell Charlo in the 12-round main event (8 p.m. EDT; 5 p.m. PDT; $84.99).
Lubin ended a 14-month layoff June 24, when the Orlando, Florida native stopped Luis Arias (20-4-1, 9 KOs) in the fifth round of a fight Showtime televised from The Armory in Minneapolis. The 27-year-old Lubin fought for the first time against Arias since his spectacular slugfest with Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs), who beat Lubin by ninth-round technical knockout in their “Fight of the Year” candidate in April 2022 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
“He’s motivated,” Ramos said. “He’s got his back against the wall. That makes for a dangerous man. You know, he’s looking to get back up there in the mix with the top 154-pounders. So, that’s why I said I’m just ready for the best version of Lubin. And you can expect the best version of myself as well.”
Ramos broke down previously unbeaten Joey Spencer on his way to a seventh-round technical knockout in his most recent fight. He was supposed to return to the ring four months after he stopped Spencer (16-1, 10 KOs) on the David Benavidez-Caleb Plant undercard March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, but Ramos hurt his left hand in sparring and withdrew from a fight against Spain’s Sergio Garcia on the Terence Crawford-Errol Spence Jr. undercard July 29 at T-Mobile Arena.
A few weeks of rehab enabled Ramos to return to training relatively quickly, in time to take an even more difficult fight on the Alvarez-Charlo undercard. Now that he is healthy, the humble Ramos wants to make the most of another high-profile opportunity.
“Up until now, people thought I was just a pressure fighter,” Ramos reiterated. “When they see this new version of me, what are they gonna think? So, I’m excited. I’m just excited to showcase my skills.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.