Jonathan Arrellano-Rico Ramos Runs on ESPN2

RIVERSIDE, CALIF.—Jonathan Arrellano rebounded from back-to-back losses and now looks dead ahead with the intensity and focus of a laser-guided crossbow.

What’s the difference?

“My mentality has completely changed,” said Arrellano. “I know boxing is a sport, but now my mentality is to destroy.”

Arrellano (14-2-2, 3 Kos) has another tough challenge when he faces former WBA junior featherweight titlist Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 Kos) on Friday, Jan. 24, at Little Creek Casino Resort, in Shelton, Wash. ESPN2 will televise the featherweight clash.

It’s not the first time the two Southern Californians have met in the boxing ring. Years ago, they met as amateurs.

“We fought as amateurs. I was 15 or 16 years old,” said Arrellano, after training in the hillside gym in Riverside. “I beat him. Rico is quick but I think we’ve already seen the best of Rico.”

Ramos showed in his last fight that even while falling far behind on the score cards he’s capable of winning a fight by knockout. When he fought Carlos Velasquez and Akifumi Shimoda he was able to crack that wicked left hook to end the fight suddenly.

It doesn’t worry Arrellano.

“I’ve never honestly been astounded with his power,” said Arrellano, who has fought other power-wielding junior featherweights and featherweights. “When I go up against a great fighter I step up my game to that same caliber.”

For all intents and purposes it’s the most important prizefight of Arrellano’s career.

“I see Rico as the world champion and nothing else,” said Arrellano, whose trainer is Henry Ramirez, who also trains Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola among others. “Rico has a style that turns me into a dangerous fighter.”

Josesito Lopez, the welterweight contender and stable mate of Arrellano, says that it’s a winnable fight for his comrade.

“Jonathan has to beat him to the punch,” said Lopez, who has several high profile fights in his resume. “He needs to be throw more punches than Rico.”

In Arrellano’s last bout he defeated another Southern Californian in Charles Huerta. It was a crossroads fight that would have spelled the end of the Ontario-based boxer had he lost. Instead, he’s fighting Ramos on television in yet another crossroads battle.

“I’ve got to put smart pressure on him,” Arrellano says.

Other fight chatter

Undefeated junior welterweight contender Antonio Orozco (18-0, 14 Kos) meets former world title challenger Miguel Angel Huerta (27-11-1, 18 Kos) of Mexico on Friday, Jan. 24, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. “What we know about Miguel Angel Huerta is he’s going to come to fight. We know he’s an experienced fighter and he’s been in the ring against the best and knows how to fight,” said San Diego’s Orozco. Also on the fight card will be East L.A.’s Julian Ramirez, Cornelius Bundrage and former Olympic heavyweight medalist Dominic Breazeale. For more information call (800) 827-2946.

IBF junior welterweight world titlist Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 Kos) defends against Canada’s undefeated Dierry Jean (25-0, 17 Kos) on Saturday, Jan. 25, in Washington D.C. Also, undefeated Jermell Charlo (22-0, 11 Kos) gets a stiff junior middleweight test against Gabriel Rosado (21-7, 13 Kos). Showtime will televise both bouts.

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (19-3) fights Josh “The Punk” Thomson (20-5) in a mixed martial arts battle on Sat., Jan. 25, in Chicago, Illinois. Also on the MMA card heavyweights Stipe Miocic (10-1) meets Gabriel Gonzaga (16-7) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (21-6) battles Adriano Martins (25-6) in a lightweight clash.

Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach (16-0, 13 Kos) defeated Canada’s Tony Luis (17-2, 7 Kos) by unanimous decision in a lightweight clash held in Memphis, Tenn. on Friday. Luis was knocked down in the first round by the left-handed Redkach, who trains in Los Angeles.

WBO cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck (36-2-1, 25 Kos) defends against Firat Arslan (33-6-2, 21 Kos) on Saturday Jan. 25, in Stuttgart, Germany. This is a rematch between the two German cruiserweights. Huck defeated Arslan by unanimous decision in a close fight in November 2012.

Keisher McLeod-Wells (7-2) captured the WIBA flyweight world title by unanimous decision over Monica Flores (3-2) on Saturday in Long Island, New York. The much taller McLeod, who fights out of New York, was able to use her long reach to out-point Flores of Texas.