Jesus Ramos Jr. is motivated and has his eyes set on Joey Spencer in a fight listed under the David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant card.
As we slide through fight week for David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant, like some social media DMs, it’s a good time to shine the light on a fighter featured on Saturday’s PPV. That fighter is 22-year-old junior middleweight contender Jesus Ramos Jr. (19-0). He will face another undefeated fighter in Joseph (Joey) Spencer (16-0) from Grand Blanc, Michigan. Both of these fighters are guys with bright futures, and this feels like a matchup that will determine who moves forward to the next level and who takes a step back.
Ramos Jr. has been on everyone’s radar for a while now, but as of late, fans have grown frustrated with the lack of big fights for the junior middleweight contender out of Casa Grande, Arizona. The last time we saw him in the ring was May of last year when he fought Luke Santamaria (13-3-1) in a fight he described as “an emotional” one for him. The reason was that Santamaria had defeated Ramos Jr.’s uncle Abel and he felt that payback was in order. When speaking to him, I clearly expressed that he did not look his best that night, and although most would have taken offense to that, he took it on the chin and agreed with the assessment.
“That’s actually one of the things that I have talked about. He was coming off of a victory over my uncle (Abel Ramos), and I feel like a lot of emotions were in play during the fight. I just wanted to knock him out, hurt him and get that win back for my uncle in a more impressive way, but I was trying too hard to knock him out. I was looking too much for the knockout, and there were things that I wasn’t doing that I would normally do and comes easy to me, but I wasn’t doing them. It was an emotional fight. I fought too emotional, and it was my mistake,” said the junior middleweight southpaw.
Prior to that fight in May, I interviewed Ramos Jr. for another publication, and he mentioned to me that his goal was to fight three times in 2022. Well, that didn’t happen, and fans were wondering where Ramos Jr. was and what the holdup was. Ramos Jr. told Big Fight Weekend, “Hell, we’ve been training (laughs). We were supposed to go in September on the Andy Ruiz card. They pushed it back and said, ‘It’s looking like Crawford vs. Spence is going to happen, so you’ll be on that card.’ That fight fell through, and then (Gervonta) Davis vs. (Ryan) Garcia was supposed to happen in December, and that fell through too. That’s just how it went for us. We’ve been training ever since.”
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With so many changes, you have to assume that it weighed on the young fighter, but instead of looking at the glass half empty, he looked at it half full and took advantage of the time spent away to sharpen his skills. “It was kind of a tough time, but we took it in a positive way by working on a lot of things in the ring. We had time to look back at the mistakes made in the Santa Maria fight and analyzed everything. I think it was good; we might have been moving a little too fast and not paying attention, which is why we made the mistake during the last fight”. This is the type of mature answer you would expect from a long-time veteran, but instead, you are getting it from a 22-year-old contender, which is great to see.
Returning the conversation to the current task, contrary to his last camp in Las Vegas, Ramos Jr. decided to have it at home in Casa Grande, AZ. Last fight, he worked with Coach Larry Wade for his conditioning, but for this camp, Ramos Jr. enlisted the help of Jamie Belt, who he met from working with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (39-0). The direction of Belt was for Ramos Jr. to work on strength and explosiveness, which he admits has him “feeling great.” During camp, sparring was brought for him and his uncle as they are both fighting on the Benavidez vs. Plant card. Ivan Redkach (23-6-1) was one of the names brought in for sparring along with Olympian Troy Isley (8-0), a young middleweight prospect.
Ramos Jr. has a challenging task ahead of him in Spencer, but with that challenge comes the reward of a potential fight with a big name by year’s end. Ramos Jr. knows a lot is at stake, and this a winner takes all type of fight between the two undefeated fighters. Ramos Jr. said, “That’s exactly what this fight is. He has a pretty solid fan base and supporters who think he will make it. By beating him, I become that guy who takes the next step. This fight is the most important one for both of our careers.”
With every fight that Ramos Jr. participates in, the expectation level rises from everyone tuned in. He knows that and wants to set the table for what to expect while also sending his fans a message. ”It’s going to be a great fight. You are going to see a completely different version of me. We’ve been working on a lot of angles, footwork, and different strategies. I think I’m more of a complete fighter now overall.” Ramos Jr. continued, “Thank you (to his fans). You follow my journey and are my supporters. The title shot is coming. I want to make sure I earn it as I don’t want anything given to me. This is why I’m taking these types of fights. I want to earn that title shot; that way, it makes it sweeter for all of us. You are really going to enjoy it when the time comes.”