Jose Ramirez: The Homecoming is Here

Raphael Haynes
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FRESNO, Calif. (Sept. 12, 2018) – There was mutual respect rather than trash talk at the final press conference on Wednesday for Jose Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title defense against Antonio Orozco, Friday at the Save Mart Center (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PST) in Fresno, Calif.

More than 14,000 fans are expected to watch Ramirez, from nearby Avenal, defend his world title for the first time against the unbeaten Orozco.

In the co-main event, United States Marine Corps veteran Jamel Herring (17-2, 10 KOs) will take on John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10 KOs) for the vacant USBA junior lightweight title. And, in a special televised attraction, 18-year-old sensation Gabriel Flores Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) will face off against Roger Gutierrez in a six-round lightweight bout.

Herring, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, received the Battles Won Award at the press conference. The award, presented by Maj. Ted Driscoll, was given to Herring for his courage, commitment, and excellence on the battlefield and in the boxing ring.

Here is what the fighters had to say.

Jose Ramirez“It’s definitely a dream come true to come home as a world champion, to be able to deliver world championship fights and be part of world championship fights here in Central California. I’m very happy to be able to bring this type of entertainment to this area, to the fans that deserve it.”

On new trainer Robert Garcia

“It’s been great. I’ve known Robert since my amateur career. He’s followed my career since the amateurs. He’s seen a lot of good things in me, a lot of positive things in me since the amateurs. Now that I’m able to train with him, he’s very excited and motivated to train me. I hope to continue to impress a world class trainer like Robert Garcia, to push ourselves to the limits.”

“Antonio is a very active fighter in the ring. He’s a pressure fighter like myself, and I’m more than excited to be facing fighters like him. I consider Antonio to be one of the very best in the division.”

Antonio Orozco

“I’m ready. That’s as clean as it can get. This is the opportunity that every fighter wants to get to, and mine came at the right moment. Things happen for a reason. I’m here in Fresno in front of a great champion. I’m ready. That’s all I can tell you.”

“Fresno is great. It’s hot. And I think it’s going to get hotter inside the ring. The person in front of me is going to be Jose Ramirez, and he’s the only objective at the moment.”

Jamel Herring“It’s an honor to be out here in Fresno. Rick {Mirigian} and Top Rank have done a great job. We all know I’m from Long Island, New York, but my presence here makes me feel like I’m back home, especially with my Marine Corps family that I got to see yesterday. It was a great honor.”

“I’m just ready to go. I’m excited. I’ve had a great training camp. I’m in there with ‘Bud’ Crawford, one of the best fighters in the world. We’ve actually done a lot of sparring together.”

“Being a Marine, I feel like I have a lot to prove. I carry myself as a Marine, even though I haven’t been active duty since 2012. Once a Marine, always a Marine. ESPN and the people of Fresno are going to get a great show.”

John Vincent Moralde

“I would like to invite all Filipinos here in Fresno to come and watch and support the fight.”

Gabriel Flores Jr.

“I’m not a fully grown man, but I’m fighting fully grown men. I gotta look the part. Fighting on ESPN is going to be great, my first time. I’m going to make the best of the opportunity. There’s going to be a lot of kids back home watching me and seeing me on the big stage back in Stockton, California. I’m from Stockton. I had the odds against me, and now I’m here. They now know they can do something with their lives, just like I did with mine.”

“I expect hundreds of people {from Stockton} to come. It’s the big talk around town. I show up to local events back home. They talk to me, take pictures, and I appreciate the love they give me. Why should they tune in? They should tune in because, like they said, I’m the future. I’m going to do great Friday night. I feel good.”

ESPN, 10 p.m. ET
Jose Ramirez (champion) vs. Antonio Orozco (challenger), 12 rounds, WBC super lightweight titleGabriel Flores Jr. vs. Roger Gutierrez, 6 rounds, lightweight

Jamel Herring vs. John Vincent Moralde, 10 rounds, vacant USBA junior lightweight title

ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET
Bryan Vasquez. vs. Carlos Cardenas, 10/8 rounds, lightweight

Alexander Besputin. vs. Alan Sanchez, 10 rounds, vacant USBA welterweight title

Hiroki Okada vs. Cristian Coria, 10 rounds, super lightweight

Isidro Ochoa vs. Elio De Jesus, 6 rounds, featherweight

Santos Ortega vs. Sebastian Baltazar, 4 rounds, super bantamweigt

Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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