The education of trainer Henry Ramirez - By John J. Raspanti- Doghouse Boxing News

The education of trainer Henry Ramirez
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 27, 2013)

Henry Ramirez
When first approached to help his mentor, Andy Suarez, to train fighters, Henry Ramirez hesitated. Still active at 26 as an amateur boxer, Ramirez, eventually came around to the idea.

“Andy had begun to lose his fire,” Ramirez told this writer during a telephone interview. “He asked me to become his assistant. He needed someone younger. He wanted someone to groom. I was fortunate to get Chris (Arreola).

“Andy passed away in 2006. This pushed me to the forefront earlier then I expected,” Ramirez said.

Whatever doubts he had, Ramirez took to his new job like a young buck in a new corral. He's trained perennial heavyweight contender Arreola for 11 years.

Ramirez guided his fellow Riverside, CA native to a shot at heavyweight champion Vitali Klistschko in 2009.

Arreola, 31, was training for a heavyweight showdown with Bermane Stiverne (March 9) until he came down with a severe case of broncitus. According to promoter Dan Gooseen, the fight will be resceduled. 

“Chris’s fights have gone through multiple cancellations,” said Ramirez. “He had a fight postponed in June. We were going to fight in December, and then we heard that was a no go. Then we heard about some later dates.

“He’s maintained his condition, but it has been a little frustrating. He started and stopped training camp,” Ramirez said.

How does a trainer keep his fighter focused after so many cancellations?

“I tell him its part of the game,” said Ramirez.” Injuries and cancellations happen. We don’t have any control over that.”

Ramirez, now 37, first met Arreola at a boxing gym.

“I believe I was still fighting or it was right at the end of my career ," Ramirez recalled. "He was training under another trainer. We became friends.

“One day he told me that he wanted Andy (Suarez) and me to train him. Here we are 11 years later.”

Ramirez's other prized pupil is former WBC silver welterweight titleholder Josesito Lopez. When will this wildly popular fighter be fighting again?

“Josesito will be back in the ring in April,” Ramirez said. “Right now we’re just waiting on something definite. He’s been with Thompson Boxing his whole career. A few years ago Goosen – Tutor became co-promoters.

“After the Ortiz fight we signed with Al Hayman, one of the most powerful power brokers in the business.”

Rumors have been circulating through the boxing world that Lopez could be facing Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana in a few months. 

“Yeah, that’s out there, but there’s nothing etched in stone,” said Ramirez. "We haven’t been presented an actual offer. It’s all talk. Paulie Malignaggi is also a possible.”

Lopez last foray into the ring wasn’t successful. Mexican sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez stopped him in five rounds. The obvious discrepancy in strength was apparent a minute into the fight. Lopez had moved up in weight from 147 lbs. to 154 lbs. to face Alvarez. Seventeen months ago, he campaigned as a junior welterweight.

 “You know, obviously the Canelo thing at one hundred fifty-four pounds,” said Ramirez. “This is a business that when an opportunity presents itself, you have to jump at it.

“Right now, we’re thinking his first fight back at one forty-seven. I know that Josesito wants to explore all options at one forty and one forty-seven. He doesn’t want to limit himself. He wants to explore opportunities in both weight divisions.”

What did Ramirez think of Alvarez?

“I was impressed. What I saw in video and then in person, he’s improved," Ramirez said. "He’s a strong young fighter, very thickly build. I think he’s getting better and better. He gets knocked a lot for not fighting quality fighters, but Golden Boy is bringing him along slowly.”

Ramirez is very high on undefeated 20-year-old Joshua Conley of San Bernardino, CA  who has knocked out all four of his opponents.

"The kid's a fighter," said Ramirez, with obvious pride.
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