Freddie Roach will be hoping he has the last laugh over Jose Ramirez in Fresno this weekend.
Roach trains Jose Zepeda, who challenges his former fighter Ramirez for the WBC Super-Lightweight Title on Sunday night, live on BoxNation.
Ramirez was with Roach for 12 fights up until March 2018, but quit his stable and teamed up with Robert Garcia.
Zepeda signed on with the Hall-of-Fame coach last August and this will be his second fight under Roach's tutelage.
Usually Roach has plenty to say when he is up against his ex-stable stars, but Ramirez will only speak good of him and salute the part he played in making him a World Champion.
Zepeda, who is known to British fans for his injury loss to Terry Flanagan in a WBO Lightweight Title challenge in July 2015, is a serious hitter but believes his skills will upset Ramirez.
The Flanagan defeat is his only loss in 31 professional contests, with 25 of 30 wins coming inside the distance.
He says: “I like to box. I like to be a good boxer inside the ring and think a lot before doing anything. Even Freddie tells me I'm a very smart boxer inside the ring. That's how I like to do it – just box.
“I think Jose is a really tough fighter. His conditioning is great and he has the will to win. We never sparred together or anything like that. He had already left the Wild Card when I came here.”
Although the Flanagan fight that ended after two rounds because of a dislocated left shoulder was at 135lbs, most of Zepeda’s fights have been in the 140lb division.
Ironically his only loss in a 17 fight amateur career came because of a dislocated shoulder, but the right side. Since the unfortunate ending against Flanagan, six of Zepeda’s seven wins have come before the final bell.
He did survive a fourth round knockdown against Carlos Diaz two fights ago, before winning in round five when his 26-0 opponent was counted out on one knee after going over from a body shot.
On his debut under Roach in October he outclassed Domicio Rondon, winning in seven rounds.
Zepeda was born in Long Beach, California, but his family moved to Mexico shortly after he was born before returning to the United States and living in La Puente when he was ten.
There was no suggestion he would ever take up boxing. His father isn’t a sports fan and neither his mother, brother or sister were keen.
His life changed, aged nine, when he watched Oscar De La Hoya defeat Julio Cesar Chavez on TV in Mexico. The result left him heartbroken and he recalled: “Since that day, I wanted to become a boxer and beat up Oscar De La Hoya.
“I was still living in Guerrero Negro, which is a small town and there's no boxing there. When we came to California, that's the first thing I told my parents – 'I want to go for boxing’.”