Photo: Will Hart
By Eric Raskin
Opening up the Pacquiao-Bradley III televised undercard, junior welterweight prospect and 2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez got just the sort of work he was looking for from tough journeyman Manuel Perez in his first foray beyond eight rounds. The veteran from Denver never appeared much of a threat to win, but he chugged forward gamely and kept his arms churning while pushing the 23-year-old Ramirez to the 10-round distance. At the end of a 30-minute workout that doubled as a valuable learning experience, Ramirez prevailed by scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91 to advance his record to a perfect 17-0 with 13 KOs.
It was just the sort of start to the evening that Ramirez’s trainer Freddie Roach wanted, a worthwhile but relatively stress-free warm-up to his duties in Manny Pacquiao’s corner in the main event. The 5’10” Ramirez flashed a steady jab, a good counter hook to body and head, and a nifty uppercut, but couldn’t hurt Perez, now 25-12-1 with 6 KOs. Ramirez never dazzled, never gave you the sense that you were watching a “next big thing,” but he was poised and productive round after round. The 10th was the best of the fight, as a bloodied and lumped-up Perez came out gunning for a miracle knockout and the kid from Avenal, California responded in kind. Ultimately, the CompuBox stats reflected the kind of fight it was: competitive, but never in doubt. Ramirez landed 278 of 751 thrown, while Perez came in a step behind, landing 202 of 677.