Ten months after accepting a World Boxing Association (WBA) offer to fight in a title eliminator, super flyweight contender John “Scrappy” Ramirez (12-0, 9 KOs) will finally get his opportunity October 7th in Las Vegas against Panamanian boxer Ronal Batista (15-3, 9 KOs).
The winner of the 12-round fight between No. 2-rated Ramirez and No. 7 Batista will become the No. 1, mandatory challenger for new WBA super flyweight world champion Kazuto Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs), of Japan, who dethroned defending world champion Joshua Franco this past June by scores of 116-112 twice and 115-113.
Ramirez vs. Batista will be fighting in the co-featured event on a Golden Boy-promoted card to be headlined by his friend and mentor, former world super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs), who takes on former world light heavyweight titleholder Joe “The Common Man” Smith, Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs).
All the action will be streamed live on DAZN from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan.
Ramirez was initially matched against then No. 3 rated Sirichai Thaiyen (64-4, 42 KOs), of Thailand, who has since dropped to No. 8 in the WBA rankings.
The 26-year-old Ramirez, fighting out of the mean streets of South-Central Los Angeles, has had his patience rewarded, and the entertaining fighter of Belizean and Honduran descent vows to take full advantage of this long overdue opportunity.
“It feels like I’m getting closer to my destination (to be world champion),” Ramirez said about the delay in his title elimination fight. “I didn’t have to fight my last two fights (he could have waited for the eliminator), but I risked it all. I’m in a good position (WBA #2) and would have lost my position if I had lost either of those fights. We went with it and now I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.
“This will be my first time fighting in Las Vegas. I call it my destiny, The last time I was there, I watched David Benevidez fight (Caleb) Plant. It (Las Vegas’ boxing atmosphere) was inspiring. I still have a chip on my shoulder, because people don’t know who I am, and I’m not getting respect.”
In his most recent fight this past May, the 26-year-old Batista dropped down one weight class, unsuccessfully challenging World Boxing Council (WBA) Flyweight Champion Julio Cesar Martinez (19-2), who registered an 11th round technical knockout victory. Batista’s most notable victory to date is a ninth-round TKO of Antonio Guzman in 2018 for the International Boxing Association (IBA) super flyweight world title.
In addition to fighting in Las Vegas for his first time, “Scrappy” will also be in his first scheduled 12-round bout, in addition to fighting on the same card as “Zurdo” Ramirez.
“It’s a 12, we’re big boys,” Ramirez emphasized,” and I’m back together with ‘Zurdo’ on the same card. It’s an honor to share the ring with him again and I’m going to do the best I can do. I’m more comfortable now. We have the same competitive spirit and even though he’s in the main event, in a positive way, it’ll make me try to do better than him on October 7th.
“I’m not planning for this fight to go 12 rounds. My last two fights were decisions, but I’m looking for a knockout….I’m going to destroy this kid!”