Jamie Kavanagh (4-0, 2 KOs) will fight Ramon Flores (3-10-2, 3 KOs) this Thursday night at Club Nokia in Los Angeles in a bout scheduled for six rounds.
The 20-year-old was last in action on December 11 when he made quick work of Jacob Thornton with a TKO victory in the first round.
Kavanagh, who is trained by Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, has decided to move down a weight class from light welterweight to lightweight. The stipulated weight for the Flores fight is 136 pounds, as Kavanagh slowly eases down to the 135-pound class.
“I was 137 for my last fight, and I noticed that three weeks out from the fight I was on the weight,” Kavanagh told the Irish Voice on Monday.
After talking it over with his team, Kavanagh decided to move down a weight division.
“I think that I can stay at 135 for a few years and grow into the weight, and I will be fighting at lightweight from now on,” said the Crumlin, Co. Dublin native.
While Roach was on a promotional tour with Manny Pacquiao recently, Kavanagh worked with his amateur trainer from Spain, Sedano Ruiz (who has also moved to Los Angeles) at the Wild Card in LA.
“Sedano and Freddie are on the same page. Once Freddie got back we were straight back into the gym and on the pads,” said Kavanagh.
To prepare for the challenge of Flores, Kavanagh has been sparring with Raymundo Beltran and other fighters at the Wild Card Gym.
Kavanagh is looking forward to fighting his first six-round bout.
"With the four rounds I felt I had to rush a little. Now I will be able to slow the pace down, and I believe it will suit my style better,” he said.
Kavanagh has seen tape of his opponent, who he describes as a “tough Mexican.” Though the 30-year-old Flores has lost six of his last seven fights, he is a durable opponent who will give the Irishman a chance to gain more experience in the professional game.
If he can get over the challenge of Flores, then Kavanagh will be straight back to the gym, as he will probably make his European debut as a professional on April 16 at Manchester's M.E.N. Arena on the undercard of Amir Khan’s WBA light welterweight title defense against Derry man Paul McCloskey.
Kavanagh is delighted by the way he has been brought along by Golden Boy Promotions.
He made his debut in Madison Square Garden, has fought twice at Club Nokia and once at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and he will be the co-main event in this promotion.
From a technical point of view, Kavanagh has noticed a difference in how he boxes after the time he has spent in the Wild Card Gym.
“The biggest change is that I have been planting my feet and moving my head a lot more,” he said.
“Also, I am controlling the distance a lot better and not jumping in with my punches.”
In other news, 2008 Olympic silver medalist Kenny Egan will fight for his 11th consecutive Irish senior title this weekend. Egan stopped Sligo’s Thomas Roohan in their light heavyweight semifinal and will box Joe Ward in the final on Friday night.
Meanwhile, lightweight Danny McDermott (8-30-1, 3 KOs) lost a unanimous decision to Osnel Charles (7-2) at Essex County College in Newark on Saturday. The judges scored the fight 57-56, 59-54 and 59-53 in Charles’ favor.