On Thursday, Afolabi weighed in at 198.5 with Ramirez hitting the scale at 199. Additionally both fighters comfortably made the IBF second weigh-in limit today.
Speaking about the fight the former WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Afolabi was anxious to take on Ramirez.
“It’s his hometown but that doesn’t bother me, it’s just another fight, I fought Marco Huck three times in Germany so this doesn’t worry me in the slightest,” said Afolabi.
“I’ve known about Ramirez for a long time, he’s got a strong punch and a good chin, but he’s not on my level skill wise.”
Well known in boxing circles as the most advanced fighter in recent history without an amateur career, Afolabi briefly discussed what he calls his “unique amateur career”.
“Before I even had one pro fight I sparred with James Toney for over 200 rounds and many rounds with Francois Botha, Michael Moorer and even Bernard Hopkins. Pretty much anyone at the Wild Card before I turned pro in 2002 and for a couple years after. Also with Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko at different points early in my career.”
“That’s where I developed my craft, learning from the best on the job.”
Afolabi was originally scheduled to face IBF Cruiserweight Champion Yoan Hernandez on December 6, 2014 before the fight was cancelled with Hernandez suffering a training injury one week before the fight. With Hernandez injured, the IBF mandated the Afolabi/Ramirez bout as an ‘interim’ title bout with Hernandez to face the winner upon his recovery.
“I’ve basically stayed in the gym the entire time. I’ve sparred 120 rounds for this fight. Just heavyweights, especially with Joey Dawejko which was very good work, he’s very crafty for a big man.”
“I’m ready for Friday night and I plan on being victorious, then we can re-schedule the Hernandez fight even if it means heading to Germany.”
Afolabi is currently world ranked #5 by ESPN.com and Ring Magazine.