East L.A.'s Julian Ramirez bringing more fight to StubHub Center
Julian Ramirez’s uncle, the late world-champion boxer Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez, used to advise the boy not to pursue a boxing career.
“I remember him telling me to go to school or to play another sport — baseball or soccer — because a life in boxing was so hard,” Ramirez, 22, said. “But there was no looking back for me, I was already in tournaments.”
So Ramirez consulted his uncle again before the Southland’s former super-featherweight champion died of cancer at 45 in 2011.
“He just told me that when you train, train until you can’t feel your arms,” Ramirez said.
“Work hard,” Hernandez instructed his nephew, “and you’ll be a champion.”
An Alhambra High product, Ramirez (14-0, eight knockouts) trains now in the backyard of a Pico Rivera home -- “it’s nice,” he clarifies -- and on Saturday he returns to the ring at StubHub Center in Carson in a featherweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds against Mexico’s Hugo Partida (20-5-2, 15 KOs).
The fight will be the final bout before HBO’s broadcast begins, with Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (37-3, 34 KOs) meeting Ukraine’s Viktor Postol (27-0, 11 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Council super-lightweight title.
Ramirez is educated in boxing well enough to know that fighting at StubHub carries with it a duty to engage. He’s seen the legendarey Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez bouts there, and fought on the card where Jhonny Gonzalez stunned Abner Mares by first-round knockout.
“I have a fan-friendly style. I’m a risk-taker,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t mind if I lost in the amateurs, I just fought the best. And I’ll do the same in the pros. I want to be a champ, and when I become one, I’ll fight other champs.
“Back in the day, the best fight the best because they want to be respected.”
Hernandez, for instance, absorbed losses to Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Fighters now think about the business, the payday, the pretty record. But me, I want to be respected,” Ramirez said. “All the hard work I’ve put in, I want to have respect for that.”
Ramirez most recently won a 10-round decision over Raul Hidalgo at the Belasco Theater downtown. He said if he emerges healthy in victory Saturday, he could fight again in December and be positioned for a minor belt next year.
He assessed the landscape and acknowledged his standing as one of Los Angeles’ best young fighters.
“Growing up, there were a lot of good fighters ... some of the best stopped boxing. It’s sad. I saw them get into other stuff,” Ramirez said. “I look at it like I just got lucky, blessed. There are other good fighters who don’t get a chance. I got a chance. I don’t mind fighting anywhere. I just want to fight.”
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire
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