Junior welterweight world titlist Jose Ramirez’s first protection in opposition to Danny O’Connor was made official by High Rank on Wednesday, and it is a struggle Ramirez will go into with a brand new coach.
Ramirez will sq. off with O’Connor on July 7 on the Save Mart Heart in Fresno, California, which is close to his hometown of Avenal, in the primary occasion of a High Rank Boxing on ESPN card (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET).
However as a substitute of career-long coach Freddie Roach or Marvin Somodio — Roach’s assistant — manning his nook, Ramirez can have Robert Garcia operating the present after just lately calling Roach to inform him he was making the change.
Ramirez (22-Zero, 16 KOs), the son of Mexican immigrants, attracts sell-out crowds in California’s Central Valley, the place he has change into common not just for his ring exploits but additionally due to his impression on the neighborhood via his advocacy for water rights and immigration causes.
Though he’s a giant draw at residence, High Rank introduced Ramirez to the Hulu Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York for a vacant world title struggle with Amir Imam on March 17. It was a hard-hitting bout, however Ramirez dominated and received a large unanimous choice to assert a 140-pound world title, and now he is going residence to defend it.
“It has been my dream to become a world champion. It’s now my duty to defend this belt at home for my city, fans and everything I fight for,” Ramirez stated. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity. I dedicate this fight to the immigrants that contribute to and make our society a better place. I’m pro-immigrant and proud.”
O’Connor (30-Three, 11 KOs), 33, a southpaw from Framingham, Massachusetts, a former standout newbie and 2008 U.S. Olympic alternate, has received 4 bouts in a row, together with a notable 10-round choice win in opposition to Steve Claggett in his final struggle on March 17.
O’Connor’s profitable streak adopted a devastating first-round knockout to Gabriel Bracero in October 2015 in a rematch of an eight-round choice loss in 2011. Many thought that the extreme knockout would imply the top of O’Connor’s profession, however he returned 10 months later and now he’s getting an surprising shot at a world title.
“I have been waiting for this opportunity since the day I put my first pair of gloves on,” O’Connor stated. “I embrace the chance to do battle with a great warrior such as Jose Ramirez. I believe we have a legitimate shot at winning the world title and fulfilling my lifelong dream. We are prepared to bring it to Fresno on July 7.”
Ramirez, 25, had labored with Roach since turning professional after boxing on the 2012 U.S. Olympic workforce. However the world title struggle in opposition to Imam could be their final collectively.
“The best way to sum this up is that as Jose has grown from the amateurs to the pros to a world title, part of the challenge is that his needs are met and fulfilled. Being a world champion, now he has a new set of needs and to meet those needs this was a necessity,” Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s supervisor, informed ESPN concerning the coach change. “We’re grateful to Freddie and to Marvin. They will always be a part of Jose, but getting Jose situated for the next chapter of his career from a need standpoint was a priority.”
Roach has a number of different fighters he works with and did not essentially make Ramirez his No. 1 precedence, which typically led to Somodio touring with him to fights. Mirigian stated Garcia gave them assurances that Ramirez could be a prime precedence.
“Ramirez being his main priority was key,” Mirigian stated. “Jose is Robert’s No. 1 priority. Jose has his time at the gym as a priority. Robert was able to meet the needs Jose has now.”
Mirigian stated Ramirez is taking his union with Garcia so significantly that he’s shifting from the residence he has in Los Angeles to at least one in Riverside, California, to be a lot nearer to Garcia’s fitness center.