Rick Ramos is fueling the next generation of Chicago fighters

Everyone seems to know him, but Rick Ramos is full of surprises. If he isn’t training fighters, Rick Ramos is making deals. And if he isn’t making deals, he’s helping fighters get out of bad ones. But behind the scenes, Ramos has been building an empire.

Other than being the longtime coach/manager of former two-division world champion Jessica McCaskill, many also do not realize that he has been in the boxing business for nearly 20 years. How did he become the master of the deal? Ramos knows a thing or two about money.

Before embarking on his second career, Ramos worked for 25 years as an Options Trader with the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, trading for all of the biggest banks in the world before he woke up one day and said, “I’m done,” officially retiring from the business.

A native of South Side Chicago, Ramos planted another seed, the Rick Ramos Boxing Gym in East Pilsen. Now, the brand is officially expanding into what Ramos’ describes as “a one-stop shop” for athletes of all varieties.

“Welcome to the Pilsen Sports Facility, which is also home to the Rick Ramos Boxing Gym,” he told FightNights.com. “We offer youth classes, adult classes, professional training, amateur training, and everything to stay in shape. We are aiming to be on a world-class level.

“We’re located on 600 West Cermak [Road] in East Pilsen, where we will provide a sports facility, a youth facility, everything the athletes and the parents need.”

However, that’s just one pillar of the operation. The kicker? Ramos has partnered with an elite group of mixed martial arts trainers, Ramiro Mota and Rich Tobar, to lead the mothership into the world of MMA.

“I am adding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I want to make sure I have something for everyone.”

According to a report from ABC News in January, homicides in Chicago have risen nearly 25% from last year. Furthermore, there are 100,000 gang members compared to just 12,000 police officers. Ramos wants to remain a positive influence for the city.

“It’s no secret that our city has struggled with gang violence and crime. It’s sad. I wish there was something that could be done to keep it under control, but I want to do my part,” Ramos said. “I want this facility to be the best it can possibly be. And who knows, we’ve won world titles in boxing; maybe a UFC title is also in our future.”

Ramos will also use the extra space to provide an area for local artists to express themselves; some have already taken up the opportunity.

“The interior will look really dope once it’s all finished up. We’re adding brand-new furniture so people can chill out with their families and friends. We also have local artists from Chicago painting their artwork on the walls. We’ll have more of that in the future. What we have right now looks really great, and it’ll definitely add some character to the building. Super trendy, super urban, super youth, and super dope.”

But if you know Rick Ramos, you’ll also know he always has a trick up his sleeve, the ability to surprise you with his brilliant mind. And with a turn of the knob, we’ve entered another world.

Does anyone need a haircut? Local barbers could land a job at the building. Ramos and local legend Danny Maldonado are opening a barber shop named “H.O.P. 22.” The room is already decked out with wood flooring, state-of-the-art lighting, and some high-end furniture.

“It’s not just sports in this facility. We have a barbershop. When I say it’s a one-stop shop, I’m serious. We have health and wellness, self-defense, local businesses, and artists. It’s a place to develop and cultivate. When H.O.P. 22 opens up, this is a place for people to get a high-quality cut, look sharp for the weekend, hang out, and make new friends.”

Although he has added more ingredients to his menu, the bread and butter of the operation will always be boxing. Ramos informed FightNights.com that he is continuing his partnership with longtime Chicago promoter Bobby Hitz.

“I love working with one of the best in the business in Bobby Hitz. We have the same motto: to put on the best show. Our last three have sold out, and we can’t wait to make it a fourth.”

Their next event will be held on Saturday, October 14, as Hitz Boxing presents Rosemont Rumble Fight Night at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

Ramos also earned a resounding endorsement from Trinidad Garcia, a fellow gym owner in Chicago who also co-manages female super middleweight contender Olivia Curry with Ramos.

“Rick Ramos and I have a 20-year friendship with one another. It was only a matter of time before we started working together. With his proven track record in boxing in the last seven years, it was a no-brainer for me to partner with Rick on some fighters.”

For years, Ramos felt typecast as “just a trainer from Chicago.”

But then he was fueled by a desire to achieve more, win world titles, and eventually expand his business into other avenues.

Now that he has successfully done so, what’s the next goal for Ramos to accomplish?

“The International Boxing Hall of Fame,” he quipped.

Challenge accepted.

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