Home Boxing News Ramsey set for long-awaited debut

Ramsey set for long-awaited debut

Better late than never

Celebrated amateur Ramsey refocuses on boxing and family as he begins pro career

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 18, 2012) – Even with more than 90 victories in close to 100 bouts, Zack Ramsey lacked the stability outside of the ring to be considered a top prospect on the competitive New England amateur circuit.

The 22-year-old Hartford, Conn., lightweight – a self-described “knucklehead” for several years as a teenager – showed promise, but didn’t always take his craft seriously despite his unparalleled success between the ropes.

“Then I had a little girl,” Ramsey said, “and that changed everything in my life.”

With a family to provide for, Ramsey has put his past behind him and is ready to begin what many believe will be a lucrative career in professional boxing, so much so that he actually left Hartford and relocated to Springfield, Mass., to live with his aunt and get away from all the “bad influences” back home.

“No more games now,” Ramsey said. “It’s not about me anymore; it’s about my daughter. Everything I do now is for her. She’s my No. 1 motivation.”

Under the guidance of promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr., Ramsey will make his long-awaited professional debut against Alan Beeman (0-1) in a four-round lightweight bout Thursday, May 24th, 2012 on the undercard of “Up For Grabs,” presented by Classic Entertainment & Sports at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.

In addition to Burchfield’s promotional guidance, Ramsey also has a management team in his corner with Robert Hersey and Springfield-based attorney Phil Lauro. Hersey discovered Ramsey at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket, R.I., while training one of his other fighters, cruiserweight Jose Torres.

“I watched him spar a few times and he really stood out to me,” Hersey said. “When I asked Peter [Manfredo] about him, he knew exactly who I was talking about.”

At the time, Ramsey was in the process of reviving his amateur career after a three-year hiatus between the ages of 16 and 19. He had just won the 2010 and 2011 Western New England Golden Gloves and 2011 New England Golden Gloves Tournaments in the 141-pound weight class and was ready to go pro after missing out on a chance to attend the Nationals due to a lack of funding.

The amateur scene had run its course; Ramsey, who also won the Rocky Marciano Tournament in Lowell, Mass., in 2010, finished his amateur career with 96 wins, only four losses, and plenty of souvenirs with which to remember it by.

“I’ve got trophies at my dad’s house, my mom’s house, my grandmother’s house – they’re all over the place,” Ramsey said, “but trophies don’t pay the bills.”

Ramsey will begin his career against another former amateur champion in Beeman, the 24-year-old cousin of Providence welterweight Josh Beeman, who captured the 114-pound title at the 2010 N.E. Golden Gloves.

“A lot of people didn’t think I should take this fight,” Beeman said. “They view Zack as a monster. I just view him as two arms and two legs. I’m going to shock New England on the 24th.”

Regardless of what happens Thursday, Hersey and Lauro consider Ramsey a legitimate threat to win a world title with the proper tutelage, which appears to be of no concern now that Ramsey has relocated and is working with a management team that will help guide him in the right direction.

“He’s got tremendous upside,” Hersey said. “He just needs to hone his skills a bit. He’s got a very good jab – very flashy with a unique style. He just needs to work on the fundamentals.

“He can compete right now with most fighters, but a lot of what he got away with as an amateur won’t work in the pros. He’s really slipped under the radar, bouncing from family member to family member and trainer to trainer with no real stability, but he’s got a great resume. There’s a lot of polishing to do on that diamond.”

Though he’s only 22, Ramsey has been boxing for more than half his life. He started at 8 years old with his father, a karate instructor, who gave him the option to choose between the two sports.

“I thought about karate,” Ramsey said, “but I didn’t want to do all that stretching, so I stuck with boxing.”

Two years later, Ramsey – only 85 pounds soaking wet – fought his first amateur bout and suffered a brutal loss.

“I got beat up pretty bad,” he recalled. “My dad even asked if I still wanted to do this. I ended up fighting that same kid three more times and won all three bouts.

“Then I started getting real good.”

Ramsey’s amateur career soared as he reached his teen years, but trouble soon followed. At 16, he lost interest in the sport and grew more enticed with life outside of the ring until the birth of his daughter, Anylah, brought him back to reality.

“I was acting like a clown,” Ramsey said. “I thought I knew everything and I wanted to do everything my way. Thankfully, I learned from my mistakes.

“I’m grateful to have someone who still wants to be in my corner. Those people don’t have to help me out, but they do. My aunt’s been holding me down for quite a while now. I’m away from all those negative influences where I can just concentrate on my craft.

“The boxing people know I’ve been going hard for a while now,” he continued. “This might be a surprise to the fans, but the boxing people know what time it is.”

The eight-round main event of “Up For Grabs” features Vladine Biosse (12-1-1, 6 KOs), dubbed “Mr. Providence” due to his strong following in Rhode Island’s capital city, defending his New England Super Middleweight Title against Providence’s Joey “K.O. Kid” Spina (26-2-2, 18 KOs). Unbeaten Burlington, Vt., super middleweight Kevin Cobbs (3-0, 1 KO) will face veteran Kentrell Claiborne (2-5, 1 KO) of Cleburne, Tex., in a four-round bout while unbeaten middleweight Thomas Falowo (6-0, 4 KOs) faces Cedar Hill, Tex., native Samuel Clarkson (4-0, 4 KOs) in a six-round bout.

Medford, Oreg., cruiserweight Mike Wilson (5-0, 3 KOs) will face Atlanta’s Joseph Rabotte (11-20-1) in a four-round bout, while fan-favorite Richard “Bobo The Bull” Starnino (9-7-2, 2 KOs) of Providence will now face Harwich, Mass., native Paul Gonsalves (3-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round light heavyweight bout.

“Up For Grabs” also features the return of former reality television star Richard Gingras (11-2, 7 KOs) of “The Contender,” who, after signing a promotional agreement with Classic Entertainment & Sports, will battle Terrance Smith Jr. (7-13-2, 4 KOs) of Oklahoma City in the six-round cruiserweight special attraction. Female bantamweight Shelito Vincent (2-0) of Providence will battle newcomer Carmen Cruz of Fort Myers, Fla., in a four-round bout.

Tickets for “Up For Grabs” are $35.00, $50.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

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