Undefeated North American Boxing Association (NABA) Super Flyweight Champion John “Scrappy” Ramirez (11-0, 8 KOs) is literally living the American Dream.
Despite growing up in a broken home on the crime infested streets of South-Central Los Angeles, unable to speak English when he resettled back in LA from Honduras, where he lived with his father, “Scrappy” had every conceivable reason to go down the wrong path.
Yet, the fast-rising boxer is knocking on the door of stardom in the most unforgiving sport of professional boxing.
“I am the American Dream,” the fan-friendly fighter proclaimed. “All the hard times have made me stronger. My father and mother put food on the table and the lights on.
“When you overcome what I have in life, the hard times become easy times. I love life and I’m inspiring people with my story, but I don’t live in the past and I look forward to my future.
“I’ve never been the type of person to complain about the hard times. I’ve come a long way and overcome a lot. I believe in the American Dream and I’m living it.”
“Scrappy” is on the fast track, ranked No. 2 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), and he accepted the offer to face veteran Thai boxer Sirichai Thaiyen (64-4, 42 KOs), rated No, 3 (the No. 1 spot is open), in a WBA Title Eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Flyweight World Champion Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOs).
Ramirez captured the NABA crown last May 14th in Ontario, California, registering a Knockout of the Year-caliber performance against Jan Salvatierra (8-1), who lasted only 2:25 in the opening round, blasted through the ropes and out of the ring.
In his most recent action this past February 23rd, “Scrappy” successfully defended his NABA belt for the first time, taking a 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 99-91) over Luis Villa Padilla (16-3-2) in the main event at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Even though he won 9 rounds on two of the judges’ scorecards, all 10 on the other, “Scrappy” received some criticism that the 26-year-old Ramirez has dealt with like a seasoned veteran.
“That was a mostly Mexican crowd that wasn’t rocking with me,” Ramirez explained. “The guy I fought was Mexican and I’m out-spoken, flashy, and confident. I know the culture and they thought I was too cocky. And they thought I was an African American. I fought a tough opponent and I tried to get him out early. In the fifth round, I told myself to enjoy the process, don’t rush, and have fun. I displayed my skills for 10 rounds and got the W.
“If I don’t knockout an opponent, they complain; if I out-box my opponent, it’s too boring for them; if I get hit too much, they think I need to work on my defense. I could have made it a boring fight if I had just jabbed, but that would have made the fight boring. I broke him down. I see how people view me.
“They have big expectations, but I created those. I didn’t knock out my last opponent, but I was the superior fighter, playing on a different level. I’m a promotional free agent (managed by 3 Prime Management) who is a championship fighter in my first main event.”
“Scrappy” isn’t waiting for Thaiyen or even Franco, to the contrary. The entertaining fighter was to remain active, hopefully fighting three more times in 2023, whether or not that includes a WBA Eliminator or World title shot.
“If those fights are meant to happen,” Ramirez added, “it will and, if not, I’ll keep fighting to get better. Anything is possible in this business. Everything has happened quicker than expected for me. I’m on the fast track and I’ll go with the flow. I’m ready for anything.
“Becoming world champion is the main goal….then, I want the second, and eventually the rest of the belts. Franco has what I want and I’m coming!”
“Scrappy” Ramirez is truly living the American Dream.