By Steve Kim
Later tonight from the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California, Jose Ramirez makes the first defense of his WBC 140-pound title as he faces Antonio Orozco as the main event on ESPN.
He eventually aims to unify the junior welterweight title in the same fashion as Terence Crawford did in 2017 – when ‘Bud’ united the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF world titles.
“That’s the goal, that’s the ultimate goal but right now we have this fight in front of me,” Ramirez said last week at a media gathering in Los Angeles held for this event. “But yeah, I’m excited to hopefully come out victorious and go on and fight for the other titles.”
Currently the other belts are held by Maurice Hooker (WBO), Kiryl Relikh (WBA) and the IBF title will be contested between Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit.
Almost all of these boxers are participating in the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight title, including the highly regarded Regis Prograis. Hooker is scheduled to make a mandatory defense later in the year against Alex Saucedo, who is Ramirez’s stablemate at Top Rank.
When asked where he ranked himself in the division, he answered – “There’s a lot of good 140’s and I hope to answer that as I go on showing my skills. I’m taking one fight at a time and little by little I think there are a lot of personal opinions but to me, I do consider myself the best 140. I’m excited to show that I’m the best 140.
This upcoming bout will be the first for Ramirez under the guidance of trainer, Robert Garcia. They were scheduled to face Danny O’Connor back in early July but that fight was scrapped as the challenger was hospitalized while trying to cut weight.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.