Central Valley boxers looking to make their mark, just like Jose Ramirez

Boxers say Jose Ramirez' win helps give locals someone to aspire to

FRESNO, California - A big welcome home Sunday night for world champ Jose Ramirez. The Avenal boxer won the super lightweight world title. Many Central Valley boxers say they're also looking to make the region proud.

America Berber had her first boxing match when she was nine. It's been six years since then and she's been able to become a national champ.

Her training at Aleman Boxing Gym also comes out of the ring.

"Being respectful to others, being disciplined -- being a nice person to everyone basically," Berber said.

It's a goal of Frank Aleman -- whose gym recently celebrated a 10-year anniversary. Kids he's trained have traveled the country and even the world, all doing what they love: boxing.

"They do good in school, they do good in the ring," he said. "They're doing good all around. Kids that weren't doing good come here and they straighten up."

One he saw box as a kid, Jose Ramirez. The day Ramirez turned pro, Aleman said the Central Valley has been waiting for Ramirez to bring home a title.

A feat Ramirez accomplished on Saturday in New York, winning the WBC super lightweight title after beating Amir Imam. Addressing media at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, he said he was honored to be able to represent the Central Valley -- a community he's grown to love and respect.

"I see a lot of people, lot of young kids, [and] they see a little bit of [themselves] in me," Ramirez said. "I see a little bit of all of them in me as well."

Jose Luis Rodriguez started boxing when he was four. Seeing Ramirez get his belt, he's looking to get one of his own.

"It's a whole lot easier to get inspired an look up to someone when we come from the same background," said Rodriguez. "Hispanic, immigrant parents, farmworkers -- we all have someone to look up to. If he can do it, if we apply ourselves to it, we can, too."

Rodriguez will be making his professional boxing debut Saturday, March 24, at Pro-Boxing Fight Night at Tower Theatre in Fresno. He'll be squaring off against Eduardo Sanchez. You can find all details and buy tickets by clicking here.

Aleman Boxing trains kids as well as adults. For more information about everything they offer, you can click here for their Facebook page.

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