LOS ANGELES – Undefeated bantamweight prospect John “Scrappy” Ramirez (8-0, 7 KOs), the second boxer signed to 3 Point Management (3PM) which also manages 43-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Promotions, was arguably the most active boxer in the United States in 2021 with seven professional fights, including three on high-profile platforms headlined by “Zurdo,” the former World Super Middleweight Champion, and today the top-ranked World light heavyweight contender.
“’Scrappy’ is a hard-working kid that I’ve known for a while now and it’s great to have him around,” Zurdo commented. ”He brings a larger-than-life personality, and his flare is often well-received. I believe if he continues to work hard and stays in the gym, the sky is the limit. We know he’s a true athlete and I would put him against anyone in the bantamweight division.”
“Scrappy” made his pro debut December 18, 2020, on a pay-per-view event promoted and headlined by “Zurdo.” Two fights later, “Scrappy” fought in his first scheduled 6-rounder, in addition to a slated 8-round bout in only his sixth pro fight.
“Scrappy” and “Zurdo” are not related, however, they’re close and as the 25-year-old John explained, “With us it’s little bro and big bro. He may not be working my corner, usually because he’s fighting later on the same card, but I’m with him every day we’re training at Brickhouse (Boxing), and he’s always giving me tips and support. I live in downtown Los Angeles only a 15-minute drive from the gym in North Hollywood. It has it all and the real beauty of it is that it attracts fighters to spar and train with, especially when fighters are there for their training camp. We just had ‘Zurdo,’ David Benavidez, and 4-time world champion Brian Viloria, who is there as a trainer, for our last fight.
‘I feel good knowing I was the second fighter signed by 3 Point Management. Now, we have other fighters in our stable and that brings more competition. I want to be the best and, even though we’re on the same team, I want to go out there and do what it takes to be the best fighter I can be. I’m with ‘Zurdo” every day I’m in the gym and I watch him. He makes everything look easy, effortless, and that’s beautiful. He put his trust in me and I want to show him it was a good decision. I take great pride in being the first fighter they signed.”’
Ramirez’ long, arduous journey to this point started on the gridiron not in a ring, when he was a key member of the Lincoln High football team, profiled in a 2015 documentary, “ESPN 60: Letterman.” The players were from a crime-ridden part of Hollywood that was riddled with drugs and guns. Ramirez was a 5’ 4”, 160-pound running back on a team that, starting in Pop Warner competition, then advancing to Lincoln High, which hadn’t experienced success in football. Lincoln High went on to become a 3-time league champion, highlighted by semifinals playoff appearance in his senior year, eventually leading “Scrappy” to a roster spot Los Angeles Valley College’s football team.
Despite being warned he’d be red-shirted as a freshman, Ramirez played on the varsity as a true freshman but, after his first season, “Scrappy” wasn’t happy with his playing time nor the business side of college football. “Scrappy” soon found himself in what he described as a “dark place” for months, trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He tried to enlist in all four military branches, but was rejected because, he said, due to all the tattoos on his body and their visual placements. One day, he heard a friend’s voice from the past saying, ‘Go to a gym.’ Despite having no experience in boxing, he walked into the famed Wild Card Gym to speak with Hall of Fame trainer, owner Freddie Roach, who told Ramirez training would be hard and that he’d need to start as an amateur boxer. His work ethic was admirable and because he was a gifted athlete, everything soon clicked, and he became a student of boxing. Ramirez had 25 amateur matches, capturing top honors in the Sugar Bert National Championships, as well as in the regional Golden Gloves and SoCal tournaments.
“I was on the right track,” Ramirez added. “Everything I learned in football from Coach Muskaki Matsumoto (Lincoln High) I applied in boxing like discipline. I trained hard every day and there was no wasted time.”
Ramirez moved to New York City because a boxing friend of his had a manager there willing to help “Scrappy” make his pro debut. Unfortunately, though, the pandemic quarantine went into effect, canceling his scheduled pro debut only one week prior to its scheduled date. Ramirez stayed in Churchill Gym, sparring and training, still hopeful of making his pro debut in the Big Apple. He eventually returned to Los Angeles and several weeks before the inaugural Zurdo Promotions event in Galveston, Texas, he received what is now a life-changing call from Zurdo’s manager, David Suh.
“Before I went to New York City, I had talked to David about making my pro debut,” Ramirez added. “He remembered when I came back to LA and asked if I wanted to make my pro debut on December 18th (2020). I believe everything happens for a reason. I had become friends with Julian Chua at Wild Card. He saw me working at the gym and liked my work ethic. He gave me pointers and told me that one day we’d be working together. Julian became Zurdo’s head trainer and now he’s mine, too.”
His impressive pro-debut performance – first-round KO — led to enticing “Scrappy” into signing a managerial contract with 3 Point Management.
“Scrappy” says he’s an exciting, unique fighter from his ring walk to his outfit, as well as the way he fights. “I bring Bad Intentions into the ring,” he added. “It’s fun! I’m a chess player who always plans ahead. I’m versatile and able to adapt in the ring, which is super important. I want to take your soul!”
“’Scrappy’ not only has the skills,” Chua added, “he has the charisma and showmanship it takes to be a real star in this sport. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. He takes his training with a world championship attitude.”
A self-proclaimed student of boxing, “Scrappy” has particular enjoyed watching and studying Hector Camacho, Edwin Valero, Adrien Broner, Canelo Alvarez, Gervonta Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, and, of course, “Zurdo” Ramirez.
“I am destined,” Ramirez concluded. “I’ve seen all this. I visualized, planned, and created these experiences before they happened. I was one of the most active fighters in the nation last year. My goal for 2022 is to stay busy, keep learning, and make statements. I’d like to have 6 more fights, get ranked, and bring home a championship belt. I will keep winning and give people a show.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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