LOS ANGELES, California: Iconic trainer Freddie Roach guided Jose Ramirez to the World Boxing Council super lightweight world title, but it will be Robert Garcia in the champion’s corner as Ramirez takes on Danny O’Connor on Saturday (today).
Ramirez signed with Roach after representing the United States at the 2012 London Olympics in a partnership that produced 22 straight professional wins — 16 knockouts — and a world title with his defeat of fellow American Amir Imam in New York on March 17.
After that fight however, Ramirez joined forces with Garcia, believing he wasn’t a high enough priority with the high-profile Roach.
Despite the upheaval, he goes in as an overwhelming favorite in front of home fans in Fresno, California, against a challenger who brings a record of 30-3 with 11 knockouts to his first world title fight.
“I feel like I have a responsibility as a world champion, so that responsibility helps me stay focused and grounded,” Ramirez said, adding that he hopes it’s a springboard to bigger things in the 140-pound division.
“This fight will only lead to bigger fights. It’s another step to fighting the big fights.”