Undefeated prospect Eddie Ramirez has taken no easy outs in his climb toward a potential world title shot, but battle-tested Erick Bone plans on bringing his unblemished ascent to a halt.
Eddie Ramirez has gained stoppages of previously undefeated fighters in his last two bouts, and now the 25-year-old Aurora, Illinois, native will look to announce his candidacy as a bona fide contender Tuesday night against Erick Bone in the 10-round main event of a Toe-To-Toe Tuesdays card at Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas (FS1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Both fighters made the contracted weight Monday, with Ramirez coming in at 142.8 pounds and Bone hitting the scale at 142.6.
While many prospects are matched up against lighter touches on their way up the ladder, Ramirez (16-0, 11 KOs) has gone the opposite route with consecutive victories over two fighters who entered the ring with a combined record of 24-0.
Ramirez, a 2013 Chicago Golden Gloves champion who made his pro debut that same year, gained a seventh-round KO of Kevin Watts (11-0) last September before stopping Ryan Karl (13-0) in Round 9 in February.
“After fighting Kevin Watts, I immediately shifted my mentality as a fighter to be more in control and to be smarter, because being a reckless fighter got me caught and got me knocked down,” Ramirez said. “Ultimately, I got the win, but I am thankful for that experience because it helped shape me as a fighter as I continue to face tougher opponents.
“The Karl fight showed off a different Eddie Ramirez. I was a more defensive fighter, I used my counters more, and that mindset and growth is what got me the win and will help me get this next one against Bone.”
Ramirez’s fight against Bone could determine the tenor of his future. Against Karl, Ramirez had the “Cowboy” hurt early but wasted much of his energy trying to take him out. That nearly let Karl back into the fight, and a more seasoned opponent may have taken advantage of Ramirez's overaggression.
The experience should help Ramirez against Bone (16-4, 8 KOs), a veteran contender who has given quality rounds in consecutive losses to former world champions Shawn Porter, Chris Algieri and Miguel Vazquez.
“I've been in the ring with some really great guys, so coming into this fight I have a leg up,” Bone said. “My opponent is the underdog and I don't think he's been in the ring with a fighter like me.”
The 28-year-old Ecuadorian should serve as a solid litmus test for Ramirez, who believes he is getting close to challenging for a world championship.
“A year from now, I see myself fighting guys in the top 10. I want whoever is on that list,” Ramirez said. “I believe I will have progressed as a fighter who people know about and who has the skill to fight for a world title.
“I just got to beat out whoever comes my way to show the world who I am and how talented I am as a fighter. I want the big names who are going to get me to the big stage for that world title.”
For a complete look at Ramirez vs Bone, visit our fight page.