CASA GRANDE — At 20 years old, Jesus Ramos is about to have his first taste of headlining a primetime boxing card on national TV.
The undefeated Casa Grande fighter with plenty of knockout power will face Brian Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) on Sept. 5 at The Armory in Minneapolis. Their super welterweight bout, scheduled for 10 rounds, is the main event of the evening for Premier Boxing Champions and will broadcast live on Fox at 5 p.m. Arizona time.
Ramos (16-0, 14 KOs) was originally scheduled to fight Alberto Palmetta (16-1, 12 KOs) in a WBA welterweight title eliminator Aug. 7. Confident in his own preparation, Ramos said he wasn’t worried about training for a new opponent.
“I wasn’t really worried about Palmetta, so when they changed the opponent, I wasn’t worried about Mendoza either,” he told PinalCentral on Friday (Aug. 27).
Training in Casa Grande has been a positive for Ramos. He trained for several previous fights at Terence Crawford’s gym in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
His first training camp in Casa Grande was before his last bout, a unanimous decision over Javier Molina (22-4, 9 KOs) on May 1.
Ramos said it was “kind of hectic” getting used to training in Casa Grande for the first time. This training camp, which was split into two parts — one for Palmetta and another for Mendoza — was more comfortable because he was able to settle into a routine and figure out what works best for him when training in his hometown.
Part of the success to this training camp is having a full-time nutritionist who prepares all his meals. It helps Ramos maintain proper weight and be in top shape for fight night.
As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. Not having the chance to fight in the WBA title eliminator at 147 created this opportunity against Mendoza. And Ramos didn’t hide his enthusiasm about headlining a card.
“The headlining part is what’s exciting me the most,” he said. “I was always on the undercard, and seeing how the main event guys get treated and seeing how everything is about them. I’m looking forward to enjoying that now that it’s my turn … I feel like we’ve earned it.”
That “we” is Team Ramos, and it includes Ramos’ father and trainer Jesus Sr. as well as his uncle Abel, one of the top welterweights in the world.
Ramos said Mendoza is a strong fighter who likes to press the action. His plan is to make Mendoza work and to test him with body punches.
“(Mendoza has) so much muscle,” he said. “With that muscle, you need oxygen to carry those muscles for 10 rounds, and we’ll see how that ends for him because we’re going to work the body and we’re planning on breaking him down mentally and physically throughout the whole 10 rounds.”
Ramos repeatedly stated his desire to be a champion by age 21. That accomplishment is still within reach, as his birthday is not until March. However, it now appears more likely that opportunity would come at 154 pounds instead of 147.
The fight against Mendoza will be the first step toward possibly moving up to that weight class. It’s something that was always going to happen due to Ramos’ tall, sturdy frame at 5-foot-10.
“We know I’m bigger than any 147-pounder, and I know I’m not going to be able to [stay at] that weight,” he said, adding 154 is a “more realistic” weight for him.
“At 154, I think I can fight for a belt, defend it, and feel comfortable at it,” he said.
Despite a unanimous decision win over Molina in his last fight, Ramos was not satisfied. He said he was too aggressive at times, going for a knockout when he should have played the long game.
Ramos said he learned a lot from that fight and feels he is a more mature boxer now, one who can set traps and play mind games with his opponent.
To that end, defense has been the biggest part of his training camp. He’s already displayed his power and offense. He wants to show he can avoid punches and frustrate opponents as well.
As a headliner, Ramos is aware that he’s carrying the card. He wants to give the fans a good fight and said he’s looking to “show up and show out” to prove he deserves to headline more cards in the future.
Ramos is excited about going back to Minneapolis and The Armory, the same venue where he was a bystander and fan for his uncle Abel’s fight against Jamal James (James won a close decision) in April 2018.
“The crowd in Minneapolis is amazing, a lot of fight fans,” Ramos said, recalling his experience watching Abel three years ago. “Now it’s my turn to perform.”