WBC Youth and USNBC featherweight champion Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard faces veteran Edel “Cuate” Ruiz on Thursday night at Michael’s Eight Avenue in Glen Burnie,
The 23-year-old Remillard (17-0, 9 KOs), fighting out of Manchester, Connecticut, stopped 52-fight veteran and former world title challenger Jesus Perez in three rounds this past April in his first Maryland fight.
“I’m happy to be back in action,” Remillard said. “After my last fight in Maryland, people were asking when I’d be fighting there again, and now it’s becoming like a second home for me. There was an instant connection. I must have signed 60 pictures. They are real boxing fans and I’m thankful for their support.
"I was moved by a few injured soldiers there who had come back from the war. I’d never felt anything like that when we spoke and they told me how much they had enjoyed watching me fight. That was special.”
Remillard went into the Perez fight after registering his most impressive win, by 6-round decision against 3-time world champion (34-9-2) Maurico Pastrana, last November. Ruiz (32-22-4, 23 KOs) represents another test for Remillard, who appreciates the boxing maturation process he has undertaken.
Ruiz is a former WBO Latino, WBC CABOFE and WBC Continental Americas champion who has been in the ring against one present champion, Juan Manuel Lopes, as well as four former title holders (Paulie Ayala, Robert Guerrero, Jhonny Gonzalez and Joan Guzman, and two world title challengers (Jason Litzau and Fernando Beltran, Jr.).
“Look at who Ruiz has fought,” Remillard noted. “He’s had more than 50 fights, many against top fighters, and he’s still only 31. The experience I’ll gain fighting him is exactly what I need at this stage of my career. I need to fight and beat a veteran like him to get to the next level.
"Our weight class has so much talent. Ruiz is another step up the ladder. I’m looking for bigger fights but take ‘em one at a time. Right now, this guy is in my way.”
Remillard is gradually rising in the ratings, moving up to No. 4 in the NABF and No. 6 in the USBA.
“This is a good fight for Matt,” Remillard’s manager Bret Hallenbeck added. “It’s much more than a stay busy fight against a seasoned opponent like Ruiz, who has fought some of the top guys in the division.
"He’s tougher than anybody Matt has fought to date. Every fight is a step forward for Matt and he’s learned something new each time out. He’s only 23 but getting closer and closer to a really big fight.”