- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Golden Boy Promotions announced Thursday that it has signed two fighters to its growing roster, interim junior welterweight titlist Johan Perez of Venezuela and former amateur standout Julian Ramirez of Alhambra, Calif.
"This is a big day for us, and I'm proud to have these two boxers fighting for us now," Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said. "Boxing will never grow if we don't keep cultivating new talent, and in Johan and Julian, we've signed two fighters that you're going to be hearing a lot about in the months and years to come."
The 28-year-old Perez (15-0-1, 12 KOs) turned pro in 2005, and last year he stopped Fernando Castaneda in the fourth round in Mexico to claim an interim 140-pound belt. His signing was a formality, as Perez and manager Rafael Moron have been committed to Golden Boy for months through their relationship with matchmaker Robert Diaz, who first met them in November 2010.
Diaz told ESPN.com that Perez's first fight with Golden Boy likely will take place July 28 in San Jose, Calif., on the undercard of the Robert Guerrero-Selcuk Aydin vacant interim welterweight title bout on Showtime. Diaz said Perez's fight, which may be a nontitle bout, likely would air on Showtime Extreme's coverage of the preliminary bouts.
However, Perez's fight could also move up to June 16 on a card in Mexico if he can be ready in time.
Ramirez (2-0, two KOs), a 19-year-old junior featherweight, is the nephew of the late former junior lightweight champion Genaro Hernandez, who died last June after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Ramirez was 73-5 as an amateur, winning four National PAL titles, a Junior Olympics title and a 2011 Mexico Games championship.
He made his pro debut in February with a first-round knockout win against Javier Damien. Two months later, Ramirez stopped Salvador Cifuentes in 80 seconds. Both of his pro fights were in Anaheim, Calif.
Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez said Ramirez's first fight with the company will take place June 2 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.