TUCSON, ARIZ -- August 5, 2021 -- When Oscar Valdez defends his WBC Super Featherweight title on Sept. 10 at Casino Del Sol, the sold-out crowd will see a new local face in the ring when bantamweight Jose “Fosforito” Ramirez makes his hometown debut in a four-round bout. Ramirez is a name familiar to Tucson boxing fans. Jose is the younger brother of Jensen Ramirez, known nationwide as a best-in-class tattoo artist, and to locals as a ring warrior who takes all comers, and never quits. The younger Ramirez hopes to continue his brother’s legacy, beginning his career last Friday, July 30, with a first round knockout win over Manuel Ibarra Nubes in Sonora, Mexico. Ramirez, who was ranked 8th in the country in his weight class as an amateur, won five regional titles and 16 state titles during his 11 years as an amateur. “I fought everyone in the amateurs,” said Ramirez. “I fought and beat Floyd Diaz, and many of the other up-and-comers in my age group.” Ramirez' tough childhood was made easier by the love and support of his parents. “My parents did anything they had to to make ends meet and make sure we were taken care of,” he said. “When I was 6 years old, I remember having to wake up at 4 a.m. to go with my mom to deliver mail. My dad was selling tires. They were always hustling. There were times when we almost lost our house, but my parents kept working and keeping our family safe.” During this time Ramirez faced what has so far been his hardest battle. “I was diagnosed with kidney disease when I was only 6 years old,” he said. “I had kidney stones that were basically like glass in my kidneys. I had to follow a very strict diet and almost had surgery a few times. It was tough on my mom, and my family. We would be up early to deliver mail, and then in between working and taking care of my brothers, my mom would have to take me to doctor appointments and deal with hospital stays.” This brought mother and son, and all of the Ramirez family, closer. The issue resolved itself as Ramirez grew, and by the time Jose was 13, the family closed the book on that chapter. “It’s like being raised with wolves,” said Ramirez. “Everyone is strong, and helps each other. They always taught me right from wrong.” Ramirez’s father was a bullfighter, and the young boxer credits his dad for his work ethic and guts: “He used to go and face bulls in an arena. It’s like boxing in some ways, life and death.” Before he steps into the ring at Casino Del Sol, he will make a different kind of debut--that of a senior at Desert Mountain High School, where he will attend classes remotely while he is in training camp. “They treat me like a celebrity,” Ramirez said of his classmates, teachers, and the school’s principal. “They always support what I do and I know I’ll see a lot of them there on fight night." Doors to the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol open at 1:30 p.m. on Sept, 10. First bell is at 2:30.

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