Rewind back to the year 2000, standout amateur Jerson Ravelo was ranked #1 in the United States at the 165 lbs weight class going into the USA boxing Olympic trials. However making the USA Olympic team did not play out as he hoped, Ravelo always knew they wanted one of his amateur rivals Jeff Lacy to represent USA as their team member.Ravelo utilized his dual citizenship and competed in the Dominican Republic where he earned a spot on the 2000 Dominican Republic Olympic boxing team.
One of the hottest Super Middleweight prospects in the game at the time, Ravelo’s amateur credentials were highlighted by winning the 1998 Golden Gloves National Championship 1999 US Challenge, representing team USA at the 1999 World Championships in Houston, Texas, and finally earning his way to the Olympic games which is every athletes dream no matter the sport.
In 2001, Ravelo turned pro and started his career by winning 14 straight, becoming the first Olympian out of the 2000 pool to register a 10-0 record. Most notable was an impressive victory on ShoBox in 2002 which earned Jerson a top 10 ranking in the division.
Unfortunately, a series of injuries began slowing down his career. Ravelo missed all of 2003 after suffering from back problems. In his comeback fight on ShoBox, he broke his right hand. Ravelo had discussed heading to Canada to challenge Eric Lucas who held the WBC strap with his manager before the fight. Though Ravelo was victorious, challenging for the title was no longer an option as surgery was required after the fight. The first surgery did not do the job, so Ravelo went under the knife for back to back surgeries. This led to Ravelo being released from his promotional contract with Lou Dibella.
After being out for nearly two years, Ravelo returned in 2004 only to suffer an upset loss on ESPN Friday Night Fights at the hands of David Lopez which led to his release from his managerial contract. Suddenly, the once stand out boxer who everyone wanted on their stable faced many lonely years.
“I would get fights offered to me, would accept them but the other fighters or their managers would not want to fight me. I would get on the phone and call promoters and ask to be allowed to fight on their cards and I would get turned down, they would not help me. Word in the boxing game was that I was being labeled as used goods. They wouldn’t let their fighters fight me, or help me so I was in a lose-lose situation.”
After starting his career 14-0 in the first year and half back on January 27th 2001 at MSG Night of the Olympians and scheduled to return last year on June 24th 2017 after many years of inactivity on a show promoted by Shane Adams at the East Orange Campus. After selling a high number of tickets and having the fight fall off the card on fight night, a disappointed Ravelo demanded the ticket money back to refund everyone who purchased tickets to see his anticipated return. The promoter never returned the money nor paid Ravelo for the fight as he was instructed by commissioner Larry Hazzard. Ravelo dipped into his own pocket and refunded everyone the ticket money. Ravelo was understandably not pleased with the way that situation was handled and how things turned out.
Fast forward to 2018 and Ravelo’s record stands at 22-5, 13 KOs. He has had only 12 fights in the last 16 years compared to 14 in the first year and a half.
After nearly 7 years out of the ring, Ravelo recently fought for the first time as a professional fighter in his home country of Dominican Republic at the Coliseo Pedro Julio Nolasco in La Romana on August 11, 2018 winning a first round TKO.
“I love the sport of boxing and I feel that I still have a lot left in me, however I’m not in denial and I understand that I’m not who I once was, at the same time I’ve never cut no corners and I won’t start doing it now.”