Jose Ramirez returned to trainer Robert Garcia’s gym in Riverside last week, California.
Since December, it was the third time that against Viktor Postol, the WBC/WBO 140-pound champion started preparing for his mandatory WBC title defense. Ramirez-Postol, the only boxing match which has been postponed two times tdue to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ramirez remains optimistic that their fight finally will happen sometime this summer.
Ramirez’s promoter, Bob Arum, has not yet provided him with a specific date because his company’s plan for staging shows in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis that hasn’t been fully formulated. Jose has been told he could oppose Postol either late in June or at some point in July, without fans in attendance.
“They keep saying late June, July,” Ramirez told. “But it just depends. I think Postol is back in the Ukraine right now. They have to think about when they will allow him to come to the United States to have his proper training camp with Freddie Roach. So, we’ll see, man. I’m just doing this to stay sharp. I know Top Rank will give me the opportunity to fight early on because of the two times that my fight got postponed. So, I’m just gonna be ready for that.”
Ramirez was ready for January 23 for a flight late that night from Los Angeles to China. That’s when he got the call about the Postol bout, which is scheduled for February 1 at Mission Hills Resort Haikou in Haikou, China, was canceled because the coronavirus had spread throughout that country.
Postol, Roach and the ther former WBC super lightweight champion’s team had already arrived in Haikou by the time the event was canceled. Ramirez might not have had to make an inessential transpacific trip, but like Postol, he ruined an entire training camp and missed out on a seven-figure purse.
The fight for them was rescheduled early in March for this Saturday night at Save Mart Center in Fresno, near Ramirez’s hometown of Avenal, California. He has helped draw crowds of in excess of 10,000 for five of his fights to that venue on the campus of Fresno State University since December 2015.
That show was scrapped March 31. The location of this boxing bout when it is scheduled for the third time will depend on where Arum’s company and ESPN can safely stage shows in the United States once government restrictions are loosened.
This will be the last time he has to train to face Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) and Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) just reallt wish for that.
Ramirez, the 27-year-old fighter also has a mandatory defense of the WBO junior welterweight title that is due. He doesn’t want to fight the WBO’s number one contender, England’s Jack Catterall (25-0, 13 KOs), in his subsequent bout if he tops Postol.
Jose hopes beating Postol instead leads to him facing Scottish southpaw Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs), the IBF and WBA champion, in a 140-pound championship unification fight.
It is very much needed for Taylor to defeat Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) in a mandated defense of his IBF belt before a Taylor-Ramirez match could be made. To meet Taylor and Khongsong, it was scheduled at May 2 at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, but that match must be rescheduled as well.
When Postol knocked out Lucas Matthysse in the 10th round to win the WBC 140-pound crown in October 2015, he might not be the same fighter he was.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Ramirez said. “I think all boxing fans, everyone is looking forward to watching some action happen on TV. I think everyone’s ready to get back to normal and go forward with their normal lives. I just can’t wait to continue being part of big fights, and showing the world that I’m getting better, that I belong with all those important names in the sport of boxing.”
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