NOTE: WEIGHTS (Jan. 19, 2012) – All six fighters made weight Thursday from the Key West Ballroom at Palms Casino Resort a day before an exciting special edition tripleheader on SHOWTIME® which will feature World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion Rico Ramos defending his title for the first time against the WBA interim champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, matching two world champions and two of the sport's rising stars.
The main event showdown and two more exciting co-features on ShoBox: The New Generation, Friday, Jan. 20, at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) originates from the Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.
Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) of Los Angeles weighed in at 122 pounds on Thursday while the 31-year-old Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs), of Miami, Fla., by way of Cuba, tipped the scales at 120.5.
In an eight-round super featherweight attraction between two undefeated prospects, Guy Robb (7-0, 3 KOs), a 22-year-old out of Sacramento, Calif., registered a weight of 128.5 pounds and Joel Diaz Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles weighed 129 pounds.
Opening the ShoBox telecast, undefeated Matthew Villanueva (6-0-1, 6 KOs) of Burbank, Calif. will fight Mike Ruiz Jr. (8-1-1, 3 KOs) of Fresno, Calif., in an eight-round super flyweight affair. Villanueva weighed 115 pounds while Ruiz Jr. weighed 114.5 pounds.
The night of fights are being promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Here’s what each fighter had to say on Thursday:
“A lot of people are doubting me for this fight but who cares? It's me and him in that ring. I came to keep that title. I'm the WBA champ and I will stay the champ.
“It's hard work to stay the champion. I put a lot of hard work and dedication into this. I'm still moving, man. I've got my son, he's two, that keeps me motivated. I've got my fans, my friends, my family, it all keeps me motivated.”
“Of course I should be the betting favorite. What should I expect from Ramos? He has to worry what to expect from me!
“I'm very happy for the opportunity to win a title with less than 10 pro fights. I'm ready for the challenge.”
“Boxing came into my life at a perfect time. I was getting in a little trouble but I was on the verge of getting in big trouble. I was introduced to Ray Woods and I was intrigued by who he was (Diego Corrales' stepfather and original trainer).
“Boxing was fun when I started. But I didn't like getting tired and beat on so I realized I had to give it 100 percent. It took over my life.
“This fight will be action-packed. He's aggressive but I plan to beat him up. It should be a brutal fight.”
JOEL DIAZ JR.:
“I don't want to rely on just one punch. Yeah, I can brawl but I can box. If I have to stay in his face and throw punches all day, fine. But I'm ready for anything.
“I can't wrong go with this opportunity. I took it on two weeks notice. I'm going to show everybody what I got. With all the people watching, you don't want to look bad.”
“I've got to get this victory, that's first. But if I can do it in big fashion, a KO, even better. I believe I can knock him out.
“I've sparred Ruiz before and I believe I got the best of him. It was my reach, my aggression, my power. And now, I'm even more conditioned than I was when we sparred.”
MIKE RUIZ JR.:
“This is do or die. It sucks when you don't put your hand up at the end of a fight (like my last outing). I've gotta do this.
“I feel good. I feel I'm two or three times better than when we sparred the first time. The sparring sessions were pretty even but now I'm sharper.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV