NYF Prospect Watch: John “Scrappy” Ramirez



NYF Prospect Watch: John “Scrappy” Ramirez

He answered to Scrappy, then and now. Even back in middle school, the teachers didn't call him “John.”

“Scrappy,”  it fit the kid, because that was his personality, he's not overly tall, and he stood out in anything he did athletically.

Boxrec was going to tell you that “John Ramirez” was to debut as a pro on March 29th, on a 360 Promotions/Tom Loeffler event, but you all know why that didn't happen to the LA-based hitter who started out thinking he'd head to the NFL, but detoured into a love affair with the fight game.

“I started boxing at the age of 20, when I dropped out of college and had no purpose,” said Scrappy, who trains with the esteemed “Dedham” Freddie Roach in Cali. “I was a troubled youth that played football with hopes and dreams of playing in the NFL. I walked into Wild Card with no idea of being a fighter. I just wanted to try it. After spending a couple weeks in the gym, Freddie noticed my talent and helped by mentoring and giving me the opportunity to spar his world champions.”

Scrappy Ramirez gets instruction from Freddie Roach.

Scrappy was on the USA Boxing path, at 115-125 pounds, had 25 amateur fights, won a regional Golden Gloves, was a two-time National Champion and snagged a Southern California title as well. He didn't advance toward making the Toyko games, so, he figured time to look to make the punches pay off.

Can we say that boxing is his savior, the construct that we know to be the case for so many youngsters who start sliding, adrift, purposeless?

In the inner city of LA, Scrappy was acting up, running with gangs, doing the unholy trinity (smoking, drinking fighting). His mom hoped he'd settle down, and he lived in Honduras from age 8 to 12, but back in LA, football caught his focus. He was on a path, he thought.

“Out of high school, I had a offer to Greenville College in Illinois, but I turned it down to stay and support my mother,” he told me. Was she ill? “Yes, but nothing serious, plus I have a younger sister, she’s 12 now,” he explained.

I asked for a bio blast. “I’m a fun and out-going individual, I like to try new things, new experiences, I’m into fashion, I live in the moment, focus on the positive things and surround myself with people who will uplift me, I like to be around my family and close friends.”

And he meshes well with Coach Roach?

“He’s a great person/trainer,” Scrappy said. “He has all the experience. The proof is in the pudding!”

Sounds like he's not falling behind because of being locked down, either.

“It hasn’t affected me in any way,” he continued. “My family seems to be doing great. I’m still training/running. I must stay focused and I’m doing a great job by doing my part. Times like this we must take advantage and out-work our competition. No room to get complacent!”

Scrappy, who stands 5-4, says he will start out at 115-118 pounds as a pro.

If you haven't seen Scrappy in action, what, does he believe, you will see when we are PC (post coronavirus)?

“Good question.. I like to walk people down but then I like to box as well. Speed and power don’t mean anything to me… Timing, distance and accuracy is everything!”

For inspiration and to pick up on tricks of the pro trade, he likes to watch Floyd Mayweather, Gervonta Davis, Adrien Broner, Canelo and the Charlo brothers.

Football is in his rear view mirror, same as his time spent acting up. Scrappy, it looks like, is in a positive mode, trying to stay in a mental zone of forward movement. “I’m a great boxer, complete fighter,” he said, in closing. “I can box, walk 'em down, bang, fight in the pocket, fight backwards… I make the necessary adjustments to win the fight. But I’m still learning and there's always room for improvement. I will never stop learning.”

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.