Jose Ramirezis the great unifier…
The 26-year-old Mexican American junior welterweight boxer stopped Maurice Hooker in the sixth round on Saturday night with an onslaught of heavy punches to unify two 140-pound world titles at the College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington.
With the win, Ramirez retained the WBC light welterweight title and won the WBO light welterweight title.
“I am very happy. This just lets me know that I am on the right track to becoming a better fighter, a better professional. I am ready for anyone now,” Ramirez said. “I felt very confident within my skills just like any fighter. A real champion has faith in themselves. I believe in my team, I believe in myself. I came here with one mission — to become the unified champion — and I did it. I am the very best guy.”
Ramirez, who like Hooker was making his third title defense, typically fights in Fresno, California, near his hometown of Avenal, but he went on the road without hesitation to Hooker’s home area and showed him who’s boss in a tremendous performance.
“Jose cemented himself as a superstar with that performance,” Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s manager, said. “A lot of people thought the fight would go the distance, that it was a 50-50 fight. We knew we had a strong camp. That’s why I said Ramirez in seven. I just had that feeling.”
Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) now has half of the four major belts in the weight class and could be in line to fight for the undisputed title in the first half of 2020, but probably not in his next fight.
“We’ll look to bring Jose back in November as long he’s healthy after this fight,” Mirigian said, though Top Rank vice president Carl Morettisaid Ramirez’s return more likely would be in December. “We will look to keep him active, maybe do a mandatory defense. But we want the winner of the [World Boxing Super Series] tournament.”
Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Josh Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) are due to meet to unify the other two major belts in the final of the World Boxing Super Series on October 5 at a site to be determined in the United Kingdom.
Prograis, who was ringside, and Taylor have both said they were interested in fighting Saturday night’s winner. Ramirez reiterated his desire to unify the division, and it could happen, but he threw a dig at Prograis and Taylor.
“I signed up to fight against the top fighters,” Ramirez said. “Me and Hooker stepped up to make this happen. They have to do it because it is a tournament.”