With a perfect 21-0 record, Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios is on the fast track to a world featherweight title shot. On Saturday, Sept. 7, he will perform in front of his Southern California faithful at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. in the lead undercard bout before SHOWTIME® takes to the airwaves with a memorable doubleheader featuring two top heavyweight contenders, a Mexican legend, and a rising star looking to make a name for himself.
“I always enjoy fighting at home, especially on a card like this with so many great fighters,” said Rios, who will face Mexico City’s Jose Angel “Pepe” Beranza in a 10-round featherweight bout. “But every time I’m in there, I’m looking to steal the show and this time will be no different.”
The SHOWTIME telecast features a 12-round clash of heavyweight contenders between Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KO’s) and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (34-3, 30 KO’s) and a 10-round featherweight meeting between Mexican superstar Rafael Marquez (41-8, 37 KO’s) and California prospect Efrain Esquivias (16-2-1, 9 KO’s).
Also joining Rios in undercard action will be former WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion Rico “Suavecito” Ramos and undefeated Puerto Rican prospect Carlos Velasquez, who will meet in a 10-round featherweight match.
23-year-old Ronny Rios (21-0, 10 KO’s) is one of the top prospects to emerge from Southern California in years and with 2013 wins over former world champion Rico Ramos and hard-hitting veteran Leonilo Miranda, he’s getting closer to a shot at one of the featherweight champions. Currently ranked in the top ten by the WBC and WBA, a big win on Sept. 7 is just what he needs to propel him even further up the ladder.
A respected spoiler who has ended the unbeaten runs of top prospects Juan Carlos Velasquez and Jesus Rojas over the years, Jose Angel “Pepe” Beranza (36-27-2, 28 KO’s) is a veteran’s veteran, able to do it all in the ring against all styles. A pro since 1996, the 37-year-old Beranza is sure to have some tricks up his sleeve for the undefeated Rios.
The former WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion, Pico Rivera, California’s Rico “Suavecito” Ramos (21-3, 11 KO’s) is hoping to get back on track after losing back-to-back decisions to Ronny Rios and Oscar Gonzalez in 2013. That shouldn’t be an issue for the talented 26-year-old, whose slick boxing style has drawn raves from throughout the fight world.
“This is a must-win fight for me and I will win it,” said Ramos. “Velasquez has a lot of tools, but he’s never seen a fighter like me and he hasn’t fought the level of competition I have. September 7 is the night I begin the journey to get my title back.”
Back on track after more than two years away from the sport, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico’s Carlos Velasquez (15-0, 11 KO’s) has won two straight since his return in late 2012, decisioning Roberto Bonilla and Giorgi Mtchedlishvili. On September 7, the 29-year-old’s next wish is to put another knockout on his record, and he will get that chance against Ramos.
“This is the kind of fight I really get up for and I guarantee the fans will see me at my best,” said Velasquez. “Ramos is a former world champion and you have to respect that, but I won’t respect him in the ring on September 7. I look forward to making Puerto Rico proud by becoming their next champion.”
In other undercard action, junior middleweights Angel Osuna (11-3-1, 7 KO’s) of Coachella and Juan Gonzalez (8-0, 4 KO’s) of Phoenix collide in an eight round contest, Houston welterweight prospect Justin DeLoach (3-0, 1 KO), Coachella featherweight Ryan Caballero (1-0) and LA featherweight Joet Gonzalez (4-0, 1 KO) return to action in separate four round bouts against opponents to be named and junior lightweights Ricky Lopez (9-2, 4 KO’s) of Oxnard and Pablo Batres (3-7-1) of Sonora, Mexico meet in a matchup also scheduled for four rounds.