Jayson Velez vs. Daniel Ramirez Preview

By Robert Ecksel on June 2, 2015
Jayson Velez vs. Daniel Ramirez Preview
“Ramirez is an aggressive fighter that I know will come forward. He is not afraid to brawl.”

“The division is full of great fighters. Lomanchenko is a great fighter and someone I would like to fight. I am not afraid of anyone…”

On Thursday, June 4, at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California, in a fight televised live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes (10 PM ET/7 PM PT), Jayson Velez (22-0-1, 16 KOs), aka La Maravilla, the rising star from Caguas, Puerto Rico, fights Daniel “Huracan” Ramirez (11-2 5 KOs), from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, in a fight scheduled for 10 rounds.

The 27-year-old Velez, who is ranked #9 by the WBA, turned pro in 2007. His US debut was in 2009 on the undercard of his mentor, Puerto Rico’s favorite son Miguel Cotto. Since arriving on US soil, La Maravilla has racked up 14 wins in a row, with over 60% of those wins coming by way of early stoppage. His most recent fight, against IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich, disappointingly ended in a split decision draw.

But Velez isn’t the only fighter to have suffered a setback.

Ramirez, 25, turned pro in 2012. His US debut, just over a year ago, resulted in his first loss to Guy Robb by UD. He bounced back in July of 2014 with a fourth round TKO victory over Aaron Garcia, but then suffered a TKO loss of his own against Eric Hunter in November.

I caught up with the two fighters just days before Thursday’s fight.

After the draw with Gradovich, Velez cleaned house and joined forces with Freddie Roach.

“I think that things played out the way they were meant to,” said Velez. “I know now that I need to be more focused. I trained with Freddie earlier in the year, but because he was a little busy working with Manny I decided to go back to Puerto Rico and finish up training with my strength and conditioning coach, Abeile Muerlo. Gradovich was awkward in the way that he moved. Ramirez is an aggressive fighter that I know will come forward. He is not afraid to brawl.”

I asked Velez about his strategy going into Thursday’s fight.

“My strategy for Thursday is to stay focused and make sure to fight the way I want to. I want to have control over the ring.  What happened in the past is in the past. Now it is time to move forward and continue to work on getting closer to becoming a world champion. I would like to fight for a belt. The division is full of great fighters. Lomanchenko is a great fighter and someone I would like to fight. I am not afraid of anyone.”

That fearlessness is matched by the steadfast resolve that is part of every fighter’s arsenal.

“As a fighter I have to be prepared to fight anyone and treat every fight like it is a championship fight. I am humble and persistent, because I know who I am and I am grateful for every opportunity. But I also never quit and aim to reach my goals every time. I am a complete boxer. I can do anything and can adjust to any style. At this level no fight is easy and I cannot underestimate any fighter. I am fighting in my first main event in California on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes and I am excited about the opportunity to show the fans who Jayson Velez is.”

More people know Jayson Velez than Daniel Ramirez, which is something Ramirez plans to change Thursday night.

“I am excited to be the main event on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes,” he said. “This is the biggest fight of my career and I know that beating Jayson will elevate me to a higher level. It will bring me bigger opportunities. For Jayson, I can’t say, all I know is that I come prepared and hungry to win. I don’t really worry about what he is doing. I worry about my own training camp and make sure I am ready to face him on June 4.”

Ramirez had two losses in 2014, which might have put a dent in his confidence, whereas Velez is undefeated.

“If anything it has motivated me to train harder and prove that I am still someone fighters should look out for. I think that maybe it is harder for him. He has something to lose. I just focus on the fight and make sure I am prepared to give a good show for all the fans. I have been studying Jayson’s fighting. I plan to set the pace of the fight. I am ready to come forward and overwhelm him. I think that I am more of a brawler. The style comes naturally to me. I also think that this style is also something the fans look for.”

When asked who he admires most in his division, Ramirez said, “I really like Jhonny Gonzalez, I like his style. He is a fighter that never stops moving forward. I may be humble and honest outside the ring, but in the ring I am an aggressive fighter and will not give up.” 

Special thanks to Laurena Marrone.

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  1. Laurena 05:18am, 06/03/2015

    It’s always interesting to me to hear directly from the fighters. In this case, I found it refreshing that Ramirez admittedly calls himself more of a brawler, and feels that’s what the fans like. I think he’s right in many ways. Velez is strong, and we’ll see what he brings under Freddie Roach. Hope it’s a good one. Thank you, Robert, for bringing attention to the fight.

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