Undefeated super flyweight John “Scrappy” Ramirez (11-0, 8 KOs) returns to action this Saturday night against Fernando “Leoncito” Diaz (12-3-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round match to open the DAZN stream, starting at 9 pm. ET / 6 p.m. PT, live from Fantasy Spring Resort Casino in Indio, California.
The 26-year-old Ramirez, fighting out of South-Central Los Angeles, will make his first World Boxing Continental title defense Saturday on the Alexis Rocha vs. Anthony Young-headlined card, presented by Golden Boy Promotions.
In his last action, “Scrappy” convincingly won a 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 99-91) over Luis Villa Padilla (15-3-2) this past February for the then vacant WBC Continental crown. Ramirez captured the NABA crown a year ago, registering a 2022 Knockout of the Year-caliber performance against Jan Salvatierra (8-1), who lasted only 2:25 in the opening round, punched through the ropes and literally out of the ring. His NABA title is not on the line versus Diaz.
“Scrappy” was arguably the most active fighter during the COVID-19 pandemic and he enjoys being on the fast track.
“I like fighting often because the more fights for me,” promotional free agent Ramirez said, “I’m only getting better. I’ve been learning more knowledge about boxing and gaining experience. I’m improving overall in this game, learning whatever I can to gain knowledge and experience. I ask questions all the time. I speak to ‘Zurdo’ (former world super middleweight world champion Gilberto Ramirez) on a daily basis at Brickhouse (Boxing Club in North Hollywood, CA). Deontay Wilder and Regis Prograis when they are training there, too. And BHOP (Bernard Hopkins) and Oscar (de la Hoya).
“After my last two fights, I’ve gone to training camps on the East Coast. I went to camp in the Pennsylvania woods to help get (Junto) Nakatani ready for his title fight (vacant World Boxing Organization World Super Flyweight) against (Andrew) Maloney). I was out there chopping wood and staying in top condition. I really worked on movement. I like working with fighters who have different mechanics to pick up and add to my toolbox. I sparred at a higher level for this fight and really learned a lot from Nakatani.” (Nakatani (25-0, 19 KOs) brutally stopped Maloney (25-3, 16 KOs) in the 12th round.)
Rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), Scrappy” accepted an offer five months ago to face veteran Thai boxer Sirichai Thaiyen (64-4, 42 KOs), rated No, 3 (the No. 1 spot is open), in a WBA Title Eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Flyweight World Champion Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOs). There hasn’t been any movement yet to secure this fight.
“That’s out of my control,” Ramirez noted. “My job is to stay ready and be prepared for when the eliminator happens. Until then I’ll keep learning and improving.”
Diaz, 23, won his World Boxing Council (WBC) USA Flyweight title on February 5, 2022, when he took a 10-round unanimous decision from previously undefeated Lorenzo Smith (10-0). Representing Riverside, California, Diaz also knocked out (6th round) another unbeaten challenger, Salvatierra (7-0), who is the only common opponent for Diaz and Ramirez.
“I don’t think he (Diaz) is on my level,” Ramirez claimed, “but this kid is looking for his opportunity. He’s lost three fights because he’s taken big fights. He thinks I’m his opportunity. He is in between my mission and goals. I’m going to take him out! I learned a lot in my last fight by going 10 rounds. I need to be patient. I’m an entertainer who is always looking to get an opportunity to take out my opponent, but early in my last fight I was looking for a knockout and got away from the game plan. If the knockout comes, it comes, but I need to be more patient. I want to impose my will but be patient. I’m going to follow the process to be patient.
“It’s good to be fighting on DAZN again. It’s not my first rodeo, though. This will be my third straight fight on DAZN. I’m a little upset I’m not in the main event like in my last fight; I’m taking it personal, nothing against the promoters. I understand but now I’m always aiming to be in the main event. I know that I have to earn my stripes, and that this fight is another chance for me to showcase my skills. I appreciate fighting on DAZN and my fan base has really grown fast because of the exposure I’ve had fighting on DAZN.”