On Thursday, June 4, live from the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Golden Boy Promotions presents the latest edition of LA Fight Club, featuring Puerto Rican top prospect Jayson Velez (22-0-1, 16 KOs) who will take on Mexico’s Daniel Ramirez (11-2, 5 KOs).
This fight will bring the always entertaining, Puerto Rican vs. Mexican rivalry to Los Angeles. Velez will be making his LA Fight Club debut after defeating Miguel Soto in his last bout and fighting to a draw with former IBF titleholder, Evgeny Gradovich.
I caught up with Velez to speak on his upcoming bout and what we can expect from the Puerto Rican fighter in the future.
Round by Round Boxing: So Jayson, you’re fighting on the LA Fight Club for the first time, how are you feeling?
Jayson Velez: I’m very happy for the opportunity that Golden Boy Promotions and Cotto Promotions have given me. I feel really good about fighting on this card. Everything I have read and heard about it is that people really love watching it and I’m glad I have a chance to be a part of it.
RBRBoxing: So when did it all start for you? How old were you when you started boxing?
JV: Well, I started when I was 11 years old. I was looking for some sort of martial arts to be a part of because it fascinated me. I didn’t know much about boxing at the time. The first fight I remember watching was actually Oscar De La Hoya against Tito Trinidad. I remember being blown away by it and that’s what made me want to take up boxing. For the next couple of years I was a bit undecided on what sport I wanted to focus most of my time on. I played just about every sport, and it wasn’t until I was 17 that I decided to dedicate myself to just boxing. I haven’t stopped ever since.
RBRBoxing: You mentioned Tito Trinidad; I assume he’s one of your favorite boxers of all time right?
JV: Yes of course. There are very many Puerto Rican boxers that I love and that are legends, but my two favorites are Tito Trinidad and Miguel Cotto.
RBRBoxing: Tell me about some of the goals you are looking to accomplish.
JV: Well obviously I want to become a world champion first and foremost. I also want to be a champion in multiple weight classes. I really just want to be a part of the Puerto Rican boxing history and go down as one of the best to come from Puerto Rico by being one of those guys who fought the toughest competition out there.
RBRBoxing: Daniel Ramirez awaits you on June 4. What can you tell me about him and what he will bring to the ring that night?
JV: He’s a very dedicated fighter and hard working. He’s your typical Mexican fighter that has a lot of heart and likes to let his hands go so I’m expecting an explosive performance from both of us. I know I am going to have to fight intelligently, pick my punches wisely, and use my defense wisely.
RBRBoxing: Without looking past Ramirez because we know he’s going to come to fight, what are some other names you are looking to go against in the future?
JV: Well I am definitely not looking past Daniel because I know he is a tough fighter, but honestly I want to clean out the Featherweight division. That is my ultimate goal. Although, if I had to choose one person to fight, I would have to say I would want a rematch with Evgeny Gradovich. We had a great fight, it was competitive, and I can see why he is a champion. Hopefully if I take care of business then maybe a rematch could come my way soon, I would love that.
RBRBoxing: Thanks again for taking time to speak with us. Any final message to your fans?
JV: I just want to say to all my fans that the best Jayson Velez remains to be seen. I learned a lot from the Gradovich fight and I am only getting better. Thank you to everyone who supports me and don’t miss the fight June 4.
Header photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images