Junior welterweight contender plans on rewriting his story—rebounding from his first career loss last October with a big win this Saturday night over the former world champion in the main event of PBC on FS1.
It’s a story we’ve all seen before: The undefeated prospect destined for a world title gets derailed by the wily gatekeeper.
For many, that’s where the story ends. But Eddie Ramirez is focused on the next chapter, despite the shock ending in the prior one.
The new chapter begins this Saturday when Ramirez (17-1, 11 KOs) meets former world champion Argenis Mendez (24-5-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight match in the main event of an FS1 and FOX Deportes-televised show (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Ramirez, 25, is out to the flip the script. He was once considered one of the hottest junior welterweight prospects following wins over Kevin Watts, Ryan Karl and Erick Bone. Then in October 2017, he faced Antonio DeMarco, a former world champion who’d lost three of last four.
DeMarco was expected to test Ramirez. Ramirez was expected to pass. The latter came forward in the first, driving DeMarco to the ropes with clean shots up and downstairs. As Ramirez stepped in for the kill, a left uppercut square on the chin caused him to stumble backward.
“It pushed me back, but I was aware,” Ramirez said. “He came at me with everything and I was dodging them. I recovered quickly from that punch.”
DeMarco was relentless. Ramirez slipped most of the incoming, until two right hooks staggered him again. The fight was stopped almost instantly after.
“It was a horrible stoppage,” said Ramirez. “A very bad way to take my undefeated record away. I was just trying to bob and weave punches. Maybe I should have done other things, but shoulda, coulda woulda. He caught me with a good shot, but I wasn’t seriously hurt. I just don’t think it was fair.”
In boxing, fortunes can change quickly. One shot is all it took for some to relegate Ramirez to the scrap heap. But he never doubted himself. Boxing is part of his DNA. Put his cells under a microscope and you’re liable to find a zillion brown leather gloves floating around.
“ I have the perfect opportunity to rewrite my story. I’m going to do what I have to do to get this win. ” 140-pound contender Eddie Ramirez
Ramirez grew up with his mother and four sisters in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. He barely followed boxing until age 12 when he discovered a pair of gloves in his brother-in-law’s garage.
“I didn’t know anything about the sport, but I was a natural once I put on those gloves,” he said. “I used to give everyone a go. My friend boxed at Jesse Torres Boxing Club. So, at some point, I started going with him and that’s when I fell in love with it.”
“Boxing kept me out of trouble. I’d go to school and then afterward go to the gym until the evening, come home, sleep and that’s it.”
Ramirez eventually switched to the bigger Garfield Park Boxing Gym in Chicago and began participating in tournaments. In 2013, he wrapped up his brief amateur career (48-3) by winning the Chicago Golden Gloves, followed by the State tournament and then was a finalist at the National Golden Gloves.
“I was Adrian Granados’ main sparring partner when he was a pro and I was still an amateur,” Ramirez says. “I worked with the late Ed Brown too. That really helped me. At that time, I had just had my first son. And I’m thinking, ‘Man, I’m keeping up with these pros in the gym. I need to turn pro and at least get rewarded for my work.’”
Ramirez rose through the pro ranks, until that fateful October evening.
“It’s not DeMarco’s fault that the stoppage was bad but, at the end of the day, I feel like he should’ve gave me a rematch because I don’t think it’s right he won that way. I felt like I deserved that.”
Ramirez says he been training non-stop since.
“I probably should have clinched more against DeMarco. I’ve spent the past few months working on a lot of technical stuff in camp, like my defense. You’re going to see an improved fighter on May 26. Mendez is a good, game fighter. It’s not going to be easy, so I have to be on my game and 100% ready.”
Last May, Mendez, 31, rebounded from successive losses with an upset decision win over Ivan Redkach. Like DeMarco, he’s an experienced former world champion eager for another crack at a world title.
It’s been said that to fail is to have the opportunity to begin again. Ramirez has been granted that chance.
“My son is seven now, and my daughter is three,” he says. “I want to get a world title shot, make a name for myself and provide a better future for my family. I have the perfect opportunity to rewrite my story. I’m going to do what I have to do to get this win.”
For a closer look at Ramirez vs Mendez, check out our fight page.