Jose Ramirez, Yahoo! Sports' choice as the top professional prospect on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, made his professional debut on Saturday in a big-time manner.
Ramirez battered Corey Siegwarth from the start until referee Vic Drakulich stopped it at 2:05 of the first round. Ramirez, who knocked Siegwarth down with a vicious left hook to the body, outlanded Siegwarth 32-2 according to CompuBox. One of those two had to be when they touched gloves at the start.
After the fight, Freddie Roach, who has been working with Ramirez, raved about him.
"He looked like a young Oscar De La Hoya," Roach said of the 1992 U.S. Olympic gold medalist. "I was very impressed with the young man."
Ramirez said he was nervous as he walked to the ring, but he didn't act like it. He was poised and put his punches together with precision.
Though Siegwarth provided zero opposition, Ramirez took his time and broke him down. It was his first time fighting without the head gear required in the amateurs.
"It feels good," he said. "It was a whole different experience. I didn't know what it was going to feel like until I experienced it. I felt great. I felt great. I was a little tense, but I felt strong in there. Hopefully next fight, I'll be able to control my nerves a little bit better."
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- Oscar De La Hoya
- Freddie Roach