Tell me a bit about your background.
My name is Yuniel Ramos, and I'm from Cuba. I came to the United States when I was 18 years old. I'm 29 now so it's been 11 years.
How did boxing start out for you?
My Father and Grandfather were professional fighters. That's how I got into boxing. My Father taught me how to fight.
How old were you?
I was really young when I started fighting. I was about 5 or 6 years old in Cuba.
Did you have any amateur fights?
Yeah, I had a lot of amateur bouts in Cuba. I used to fight every other week. I started at 65 pounds and went up to 112 pounds throughout my amateur career.
Do you remember your record in the amateurs?
It was pretty good, you know... I fought a couple national tournaments, and I was really good. I think it was like 70-15 I think... something like that.
Tell me about the transition when you went from the amateurs to the pros?
It's a lot different because you have to work on your power plus it takes a lot of time to get ready for a professional fight. It's a whole different ball-game. When I came to the states I lived in Pensacola, Florida, and I was close to Alabama and had two amateur fights. I went to the Golden Gloves, and I won. This was back in 2002, I think... I won my fights by knockout and then after that nobody wanted to fight me anymore. I had to turn professional... I had no choice. I was 22 years old at the time.
When you turned pro where did you train?
I was training at my house. I had no gym to go to. I didn't know anybody.
No gym? What did you do to stay in shape?
I did my roadwork and light sparring with my Uncle. He was a good fighter so he kept me in shape.
So no equipment?
Not really... I had a punching back and speed bag setup in my garage.
So how did you find Legends Boxing Club?
I moved to Tampa and I came to the gym and met Fransisco Arreola who is the owner. We became good friends and he's training me now.
And you're also a trainer right?
Yes, I get people in shape. I've been in boxing all my life, and I know the sport.
Did Fransisco ask you to train others or did you volunteered?
I volunteered you know... people like the way I box, and they like the way I teach. I think I can help people especially the young guys who are coming up. I'll get them ready.
What's your personal goal in boxing?
I want to continue fighting, and I want to start winning. I know I can win. I believe in myself and Fransisco believes in me. I have a lot of skills, and I want to keep training and fighting until I'm 35 years old. I love boxing!
If I get a good fight promoter and fair fights I can become a world champ. That's the way I feel. I can beat anybody when I'm in shape... I can fight anybody.
What weight class are you fighting at?
I'm fighting at 122 and 126 pounds...either one. That's featherweight and junior featherweight.
Are you training for a fight?
I'm keeping myself in excellent shape. I'm 100% in shape waiting to get a fight. Usually they would call me with two days notice before a fight and I wasn't in shape. I was taking the fights and I would win but the decision would go to the other guy. So now I'm keeping in better shape so when they call me... I'm ready.
How many professional fights have you had so far?
I've had 7 difficult fights. Local fighters don't want to fight me. So when I do get a fight I have to travel and be the opponent and it shouldn't be that way. I'm open to fight anybody, you know... other guys that do want to fight me are good fighters and I got to be the opponent. If it comes to a decision I'm going to lose... I basically have to knock the guy out.
Why are they afraid to fight you?
A lot of promoters are protecting the young fighters they have and they don't want to put them in with guys like me who has experience and can fight. They're looking for easy fights. They don't put me with guys in my class who are working like me. I'm a fighter, but I'm a working man too. I work 11 hours a day and I have a family... it's difficult. I train 5 days a week with 2 days off and I spend two hours in the gym. Two hours is good for me.
Do you still want to be involved in boxing when you retire?
Yes, I like to be either a manager or trainer. Boxing is in my blood. I want to continue... I got a son and he's 2 years old and I want him to follow in my footsteps and be a fighter also.
What if he wants to be a doctor or something?
That's up to him, you know... I'm going to teach him boxing and if he wants to go the other way that's okay... I respect that.
What message would you say to any promoter to take you seriously as a fighter?
I want to talk to any promoters out there that I'm a good fighter, you know... I want to get a chance... get me some fights... get me some fair fights. I will put up a show for the fans, and nobody is going to be disappointed. I do come to fight, and I'm a fighter that wants to fight. Please help me out and give me a fight... give me some fights.
How do you want to be remembered in the boxing world?
I want to be remembered as a guy who fought everybody that was never afraid to take a fight. Even with one or two days notice I always said 'yes' and took the fight and put up a good show for the fans... always!
I don't know about you, but this kid is serious and he's hungry to get to the next level in his career. If I can grant a wish for Yuniel it would be for a promoter to read this, and open his eyes... and have a huge heart ... and give him a shot. Local fight fans believe in him. So do I...