On Monday night, Top Rank Promotions announced via Tweet that they had signed lightweight contender Luis Ramos Jr. to their stable. It’s a move that could give Ramos the opportunity to make an important move in a division that is wide open right now.
Lightweight is one of the sport’s most unsettled divisions. Jorge Linares holds the WBC belt, Rances Barthelemy the IBF, Terry Flannagan the WBO and Anthony Crolla the WBA. None of those title holders have built up large followings so far, at least in the United States. They’re all going to want credible opponents and spots on big cards.
Ramos fits the bill as a credible opponent, even if he’s not exactly a top contender. His record is 25-2 with 10 KOs. He scored a great win over Raymundo Beltran in January 2012. He beat Daniel Attah in April of that year and Noe Bolanos in September, two more quality wins. But then he suffered his first loss to Ricard Williams Jr. by Round 5 stoppage in December 2012.
He took off almost an entire year, before getting TKO’d by Fidel Maldonado Jr. in seven in November 2013. Ramos suffered bad cuts on his eyes in both fights. They were two tough back-to-back losses and Ramos took nearly two years off and returned in August of last year to defeat journeyman Sergio Reyes and followed that in December with a tune up win over 15-12-2 Moises Delgadillo.
Those two wins last year were good ones for a fighter trying to get his career back on track, and signing with one of the sport’s biggest powerbrokers should allow Luis Ramos Jr. to capitalize on the good years he probably has left at just 27. At the very least, he should be able to maximize his earning potential in his prime years.
In the short-term future, a decent bet for an opponent for Ramos might be Felix Verdego, Top Rank’s undefeated lightweight contender from Puerto Rico.