Jose Ramirez to Fight Josh Taylor in Junior Welterweight Unification Title Bout

Jose Ramirez is ready to expand his belt collection…

The junior welterweight unification title bout between the 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Josh Taylor will take place on May 22 at a to be determined Las Vegas venue.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, and Taylor, the IBF and WBA champion, had initially been planning to fight on May 8, but the fight was moved as to not conflict with the Canelo AlvarezBilly Joe Saunders title fight. Instead, they’ll fight later in the month, headlining a card on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+.

“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a news release. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO) last fought in August, winning a majority decision over Viktor Postol in his first defense as both the WBC and WBO titleholder. He has held the WBC belt since March 17, 2018, when he beat Amir Imam and the WBO belt since July 27, 2019, when he TKO‘d Maurice Hooker in the sixth round.

Taylor (17-0, 13 KO) won the IBF title in a May 2019 decision over Ivan Baranchyk and the WBA belt in a majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019. Taylor, 30, last fought in September 2020, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first round.

Both Taylor and Ramirez fought as lightweights in the 2012 London Games, each losing in the quarterfinals in a division won by Vasiliy Lomachenko. On the same side of the bracket, they would have met up in the semifinals had they kept winning. Now, they’ll fight to unify a professional world title instead.

Terence Crawford was the last fighter the unify the division, a feat he accomplished in 2017. Crawford then vacated the titles with a move up to 147 pounds.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. to Fight Maurice Hooker in March

Vergil Ortiz Jr. is ready to rumble…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer, an undefeated rising welterweight star, will step up his boxing game as he’s set to face fellow contender Maurice Hooker in a bout that’s still being finalized, according to ESPN.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The fight is expected to take place on March 20, according to ESPN sources. The firm date is the final step to be completed before an announcement of the bout, which is expected to take place in Dallas and air on DAZN.

Ortiz (16-0, 16 KOs) was ESPN’s and Ring Magazine‘s 2019 Prospect of the Year. His knockout power and impressive skill put him among a handful of young fighters competing for prime billing in the years to come. With Canelo Alvarez‘s departure, Ortiz has become one of Golden Boy Promotions‘ most promising fighters.

Ortiz is coming off a seventh-round TKO victory over veteran Sam Vargas in July — the first pro bout in Ortiz’s career that has lasted beyond six rounds.

But he’ll be facing his stiffest competition yet in Hooker, who after having issues making weight is moving up from junior welterweight to take this bout.

Hooker (27-1-3) has a significant experience and length advantage over Ortiz, helping make the bout an intriguing test. Hooker, 31, hasn’t fought since a December 2019 first-round TKO over Uriel Perez. Before that, he suffered his lone loss to junior welterweight unified champion Jose Ramirez by sixth-round TKO.

Alex Saucedo to Fight Arnold Barboza Jr. in October

Alex Saucedo is ready for a major rumble…

A junior welterweight battle between 26-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former title challenger, and unbeaten fighter Arnold Barboza Jr. has been finalized for October 17.

Alex Saucedo

The fight is part of the undercard for the Vasiliy LomachenkoTeofimo Lopez lightweight unification fight at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Saucedo (30-1, 19 KOs) faced Maurice Hooker in November 2018 for the vacant WBO title, losing by seventh-round TKO. Since then, Saucedo has changed trainers, and has defeated Rod Salka by first-round knockout last November and Sonny Fredrickson by unanimous decision in June.

Saucedo is currently ranked No. 6 by the WBO.

Barboza (24-0, 10 KOs), who defeated Tony Luis by unanimous decision on August 29, is rated No. 7 by the WBC and WBO.

Jose Ramirez Likely to Defend Title Against Viktor Postol in August

Could the third time be the charm for Jose Ramirez’s challenge bout?

A fight between the 27-year-old Mexican American unified WBC and WBO light welterweight titleholder and Viktor Postol, his WBC mandatory challenger, will take place the last week of August, according to Top Rank president Todd duBoef

Jose Ramirez,

The bout will be broadcast live on an ESPN network.

There’s no exact date yet for the fight, according to duBoef, but Top Rank is working with the sports network to add the bout to its programming calendar.

“We’re being as flexible as possible with ESPN,” duBoef said. “They’re going to see how the NBA schedule comes out, the MLB schedule, all the other sports that are supposed to be back in August. They’re formulating their schedule.

“We’re basically telling [fighters], ‘Hey, you’ll be this week in August. You’ll be this week in August.’ Then we’re honing in on a date.”

Ramirez-Postol was originally scheduled for February 1 in China, and then May 9 in Fresno, California. Both times the fight was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramirez last fought on July 27, 2019, when he stopped Maurice Hooker in six rounds to unify the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles. 

Postol, who once held the WBC 140-pound belt, last fought on April 27, 2019, scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over Mohamed Mimoune.

Jose Ramirez’s Bout Against Viktor Postol Could Finally Happen This Summer

The third time could be the charm for Jose Ramirez

The bout between the 27-year-old Mexican American boxer and WBC and IBF junior welterweight champion and mandatory challenger Viktor Postol, twice postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is now expected to take place this summer, according to Top Rank promoter.

Jose Ramirez,

The fight is expected to take place in the first or second week of August, according to Top Rank, but the date would be contingent on Postol getting into the United States from his native Ukraine, where he’s currently training.

Vadim Kornilov, Postol’s manager, said he’s been trying to expedite Postol’s journey to the U.S.

“We have a reserved ticket for him on Monday. We’ve just been a little bit delayed because of the protests,” Kornilov said, referring to the protests that have been taking place across the U.S. in the aftermath of George Floyd‘s death. “We wanted to see that quiet down before we bring him here to the States. It looks like he’s good to enter with no issues.”

Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) once held the WBC 140-pound title. He typically trains under Freddie Roach in Los Angeles, but all gyms in the city are currently closed.

“We definitely have to wait for restrictions to be taken off as far as the quarantine of the gym and Freddie returning, but in my opinion, that should happen pretty soon,” Kornilov said. “Until then, the plan is for Viktor to just start training at a private gym we can find locally and get back into shape, and then wait for the restrictions to be taken off.”

While Top Rank’s June and July schedule in the States will take place exclusively at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Ramirez’s manager, Rick Mirigian, who has helped market and promote Ramirez into one of the biggest regional draws in the sport in Fresno, California, is hoping to bring this fight to California’s Central Valley.

”I’m preparing options for Top Rank for California, a casino and an arena,” Mirigian said. “I’m going to prepare those options for them to consider.”

Mirigian has had numerous meetings with venues as well as discussions with Andy Foster, the executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission, in the hopes of staging cards with a limited number of spectators. The Save Mart Center in Fresno is Mirigian’s priority, but he declined to disclose what casino he’s also pursued.

“That is the goal — to have some sort of a California audience with the bare minimum. A small ‘studio’ show, which could be Ramirez’s family, some key sponsors, etc. Keep it small,” said Mirigian, who also reiterated that these events would still have social distancing regulations and mandatory masks in the venue.

Ramirez will be relieved just to get back into action and satisfy this fight against his mandatory challenger. If the fight takes place in August, Ramirez will have been out of the ring for more than a year. 

His most recent bout came against Maurice Hooker on July 27, 2019. Since then, he has had his sights set on a fight against Josh Taylor, who has the other two major belts at junior welterweight.

Jose Ramirez Defeats Maurice Hooker to Unify Two World Titles

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.

Jose Ramirez, Maurice Hooker, College Park Center, 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.”