Jose Ramirezis going on the defense…
The 26-year-old Mexican American boxer and Junior welterweight world titleholder will make his second defense against contender Jose Zepeda on February 10 at the Save Mart Center, the arena in Ramirez’s hometown of Fresno, California, where he has drawn sellout crowds.
Top Rankannounced the bout, which will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPNspecial Sunday edition (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 7:00 pm ET, with the entire undercard streaming on ESPN+beginning at 4 p.m. ET).
Ramirez is known for his copious amount of public service in his community and it will continue with this card. Top Rank announced that a portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Community Cancer Institutein Clovis, California. Ramirez also will auction off his fight-worn trunks, gloves, shirt and shoes, with all proceeds to benefit the Community Cancer Institute.
“I feel blessed to defend my title a second time at home against a great opponent and also support an issue that affects everyone and their families,” Ramirez said. “Let’s all band together to KO cancer and remember that every moment counts.”
Top Rank chairman Bob Arumhas regularly lauded Ramirez’s charitable efforts.
“Jose Ramirez is a great young champion and an even better person,” Arum said. “We are proud to be involved with an event that will raise a tremendous amount of exposure for cancer research. Zepeda is a really tough fighter who will give Jose an excellent fight. The fans in the Central Valley have supported Jose since day one, and I expect another fantastic crowd at the Save Mart Center.”
Ramirez (23-0, 16 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will be in his second fight with head trainer Robert Garcia. Ramirez won a vacant 140-pound world title by lopsided decision over Amir Imamin March in New York and then returned to the Save Mart Center in September and outpointed Antonio Orozcoin a one-sided, action-packed fight.
Zepeda (30-1, 25 KOs), 29, a southpaw from La Puente, California, will be getting his second opportunity to fight for a world title.
He is unbeaten in eight consecutive fights — 7-0 with a head-butt induced no contest — since he dislocated his left shoulder and was unable continue against then-lightweight world titlist Terry Flanagan in July 2015, which resulted in a second-round stoppage loss.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity since my first world title shot against Terry Flanagan,” Zepeda said. “I’m going to train very hard, better than ever before. I’m very thankful to my team and Jose Ramirez for giving me this chance. I’m not going to waste it, and that’s why I’m training so hard.”