John ‘Scrappy’ Ramirez is ready to command the spotlight.
The unbeaten junior bantamweight headlines the 2023 premiere of Golden Boy Fight Night on DAZN’s series, which largely focuses on young fighters on the rise. The description is befitting of Ramirez, who will face Luis Padilla in a scheduled ten-round regional junior bantamweight title fight.
Los Angeles’ Ramirez weighed 114.8 pounds for the contest, while Mexico’s Padilla weighed right at the divisional limit of 115 pounds. The two meet Thursday evening at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
The bout ends a career-long nine-month ring break for the 26-year-old Ramirez (10-0, 8KOs), who is a stablemate of and co-promoted by Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez’s Zurdo Promotions. Ramirez has appeared on three undercards featuring the former WBO super middleweight titlist, beginning with his December 2020 pro debut and most recently in a first-round knockout of Jan Salvatierra last May 14 in Ontario, California.
Padilla (15-3-2, 2KOs) fights in the U.S. for the first time as a pro.
The 22-year-old from Guadalajara has only appeared once outside of Mexico. It resulted in a December 2021 1irst-round knockout loss to Spain’s 2016 Olympic quarterfinalist and former title challenger Samuel Carmona in Barcelona. Two wins have followed, including a minor upset in a ten-round decision over former junior flyweight title challenger Carlos Buitrago last November in his Guadalajara hometown.
Ramirez is the highest ranked WBA junior bantamweight contender. He was previously due to face veteran contender Sirichai Thaiyen (64-4, 42KOs) in a final elimination bout for the WBA mandatory challenger position, with the fight expected to be revisited after Thursday’s DAZN headliner.
Below are the weights for the full undercard.
Manuel ‘Gucci’ Flores (14-0, 11KOs), Coachella, California, 119.6 pounds vs. Franklin Gonzalez (25-1, 25KOs) Los Teques, Venezuela, 120 pounds—8 rounds, junior featherweight
Lorraine Villalobos (5-4, 2KOs), Los Angeles, 103 pounds vs. Katherine Renee Lindenmuth (2-1, 0KOs), Albuquerque, New Mexico, 102.2 pounds—6 rounds, strawweight
Grant Flores (pro debut), Coachella, California, 149.8 pounds vs. Jorge Ayala Lopez (0-1, 0KOs), Queretaro, Mexico, 151 pounds—4 rounds, junior middleweight
Stefanie Cohen (2-1-1, 1KOs), Miami via Venezuela, 116.6 pounds vs. Leanne Calderon (1-2-1, 0KOs), Austin, Texas, 117.2 pounds—4 rounds, bantamweight
Zachary Spiller (2-0, 2KOs), Houston, Texas, 265.4 pounds vs. Kaleel Carter (3-3, 3KOs), Bellflower, California, 227 pounds—4 rounds, heavyweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox