LAS VEGAS – Jesus Ramos respects Joey Spencer for asking to fight him Saturday night.

The strong southpaw still thinks the ambitious Spencer made a mistake in embracing what Spencer has admitted is a step up in competition in their 10-round junior middleweight match on the David Benavidez-Caleb Plant undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Spencer impressively out-boxed Mexico’s Kevin Salgado, his toughest opponent to date, in his last bout, but Ramos doesn’t think Salgado did what was necessary to try to win their 10-rounder on the Andy Ruiz-Luis Ortiz undercard September 4 at Arena in Los Angeles.

“He did some good things in there,” Ramos told during an open workout Wednesday at MGM Grand. “He worked his jab really well. But it almost seemed like he was going at his own pace. [Salgado] wasn’t really trying to pressure him, outhustle him, so he was able to do what he wanted in there. But I feel like Saturday night is gonna be a different story.”

The 22-year-old Ramos (19-0, 15 KOs) feels his last opponent, Luke Santamaria, helped prepare him for the way Spencer (16-0, 10 KOs) will approach their co-feature before Benavidez and Plant meet in the 12-round main event of Showtime Pay-Per-View’s four-fight telecast (9 p.m. ET; $74.99). Ramos, of Casa Grande, Arizona, defeated Santamaria (13-3-1, 7 KOs) by comfortable margins on all three scorecards – 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93 – in their 10-rounder on the Gervonta Davis-Rolly Romero undercard last May 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“I’m coming off the fight with Santamaria, who knew how to move a lot,” Ramos said. “He did that quite well. I don’t feel like Joey Spencer has the same legs as Santamaria. I think the difference is Santamaria has been in there with Devon Alexander, my uncle [Abel Ramos], and I feel like Joey Spencer is still a little green. I’d give Santamaria that edge in experience.

“I don’t feel like [Spencer] has faced adversity. There’s ways to test yourself in the ring and I feel like he hasn’t done that. He hasn’t had the toughest opponents, so like I said, I was a little surprised [he took the fight.] But I’m glad he’s willing to compete, because I like to compete.”

Spencer, of Fenton, Michigan, defeated Salgado (15-1-1, 10 KOs) even more convincingly on the scorecards six months ago (100-90, 99-91, 99-91). Ramos is still listed by most sportsbooks as approximately a 2-1 favorite to top Spencer, who turned 23 on Friday.

“I feel like he might come to box,” Ramos said. “I mean, obviously he doesn’t wanna lose his undefeated record. He wants to come to fight, but I feel like his style is that of a boxer, so that’s what I’m expecting. You know, he’s gonna try to out-box me. But I feel like I’m the better fighter and I don’t see him winning that fight. I don’t think he can out-box me and I don’t see him pressuring me. So, I’m interested to see how he comes out.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.