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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson

Armyman to work Jerwin bout

By Joaquin Henson
02 Feb 2018

Rafael Ramos in action.

CORPUS CHRISTI. Retired US Army first sergeant Rafael Ramos will be the third man in the ring when IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas stakes his crown against dangerous Mexican challenger Israel Gonzalez at the American Bank Center here Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila). The venue was where Nonito Donaire halted Australia’s Vic Darchinyan in the ninth round of their rematch in 2013.

It won’t be the first time Ramos is assigned to work a fight involving a Filipino. In 2010, he was in the ring with Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And in July last year, Ramos was in Thailand when WBA minimumweight champion Thammanoon Niyontrong decisioned Rey Loreto in a 12-rounder. Ramos gave Loreto a mandatory eight-count in the ninth round but Fritz Gaston, then a GAB commissioner who watched at ringside, said the knockdown was caused by a push not a punch. Gaston confronted Ramos after the fight to express his displeasure but anyway, the decision stuck and it seemed like Thammanoon deserved the verdict.

Ramos, 60, has worked over 350 fights and more than 60 world title bouts in five continents. In 2009, he was cited for his job in the Fight of the Year between Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Diaz at the Toyota Center in Houston. Marquez stopped Diaz in the ninth round in the WBA, WBO, IBO unified lightweight championship clash.

Ramos boxed as an amateur in three weight divisions and dabbled in taekwondo, taking a silver in a state championship in 1986. A year later, he started a career as a referee. Ramos was in the military for 21 years, working as a communications specialist and a medic. A business management major in hospital administration, he is now retired from the service and works a day job in clinical research.

In 2012, Ramos was inducted into the Puerto Rican Boxing Hall of Fame and two years later, was enshrined in the San Antonio Boxing Hall of Fame. Among the countries he’s visited to work as a referee are Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, France, Italy, Haiti, Jamaica, Ecuador and Mexico.

Ramos’ fee for the fight is $1,600. The three judges will be Joel Elizondo of San Antonio, Fernando Villareal of Oak Hill, California and Lisa Giampa of Las Vegas. Each of the judges will be paid $1,300. Supervisor is David MacCullough of Dayon, Texas, and his fee is $1,000.

“When I give my instructions to the fighters, you’re gonna hear me say ‘No one is more professional than I am,’” Ramos said. “That comes from the NCO Creed. That’s how I honor the soldiers — the active-duty, retirees and the fallen soldiers. That’s why I do that. Because I was an NCO, I know we put the mission first. We forget everything around us, and we dedicate ourselves just to that mission or to that fight. Just like all NCOs, we have to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. So I focus and that’s what I do. That’s how I do it. That’s how all soldiers do it.”

Las Vegas matchmaker Sean Gibbons said after Ancajas disposes of Gonzalez, next in line is countryman Jonas Sultan who beat former two-time world champion Johnriel Casimero in an eliminator for the No. 1 slot in the IBF ratings. “We can pay a $20,000 exception fee for a postponement of the mandatory defense but in five or six months, we’ll have to fight Sultan anyway,” said Gibbons.

“When will depend on what’s in the schedule. We’d like Jerwin to be in the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s next fight, maybe at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 14. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll find another venue. Our hope is for Jerwin to make two successful title defenses before the IBF convention in Rome in May.”

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