Jose Ramirez vs. Danny O’Connor – cancelled
By Chris Williams: WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez’s title defense against Danny O‘Connor has been canceled after the 33-year-old O’Connor was hospitalized due to dehydration. O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs) was trying to lose water weight on Friday to make weight for the weigh-in, but he was unable to lose the last two pounds.
It was too much for O’Connor to take off the last 2 pounds, and ended up badly with him needing to be hospitalized at the Fresno Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California due to dehydration. O’Connor will remain overnight at the hospital.
Ramirez and O’Connor were supposed to face each other this Saturday at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California. The card will still take place, but without Ramirez and O’Connor. Instead of the card being headlined by Ramirez-O’Connor, welterweights Egidijus Kavaliauskas (19-0, 16 KOs) and Juan Carlos Abreu (21-3-1, 19 KOs) will slide into the main event to take the place of that fight. Sadly, Kavaliauskas vs. Abreu is a much better fight than the Ramirez-O’Connor match-up, which was little more than a terrible mismatch that should have never been made in the first place.
O’Connor has done nothing to deserve a title shot after losing twice to Gabriel Bracero and against a past his prime Vivian Harris. Ramirez should have entered the World Boxing Super Series 140 lb. tournament to compete against the best fighters in the division like Regis Prograis, but instead he stayed out of it and was scheduled to face the bottom ranked O’Connor in a laughable fight.
This was a Top Rank Boxing card that was to be televised on ESPN. Ramirez-O’Connor was the headliner fight, and not a very good one. O’Connor is ranked #15 by the World Boxing Council. Ramirez could have fought a better opponent if his promoters at Top Rank had put in the effort to match him against a top 10 opponent, but instead they picked out O’Connor from the bottom of the WBC’s rankings. The results turned out to be a disaster with O’Connor being hospitalized.
For the 25-year-old Ramirez, it wrecks his maiden title defense of his World Boxing Council 140 lb. title that he recently won last March in beating Amir Imam by a 12 round unanimous decision.
This would have been Ramirez’s first fight with new trainer Robert Garcia after he dumped his former trainer Freddie Roach. I’m not sure that it would have mattered. Ramirez would have blown out the over-matched O’Connor even without a trainer. This was just a bad mismatch. Ramirez didn’t need a trainer to beat O’Connor. The fight would have been an easy one for him.
“They’ve already given him four bags of fluids and it hasn’t had an effect yet, so they’ve admitted him,” O’Connor’s promoter Joe DeGuardia said to ESPN.com. “He was shaking off the last two pounds…His body just gave way. He was out of it.”
Boxing needs to get it’s act together to prevent fighters from hurting themselves trying to make weight. If the Commissions and the sanctioning bodies required same day weigh-ins, it might help prevent fighters from dehydrating themselves to compete in divisions well below their natural body weight.
Ramirez had trained for 10 weeks for the fight and had made the weight at 139.4 lbs. at the weigh-in, but instead he’ll have nothing to show for his troubles. It’s unclear when Ramirez will compete next. O’Connor now out of the picture for the fight, this would be a great chance for Top Rank to enter Ramirez in the World Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament so he can compete against the
likes of Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor and Kiryl Relikh. There’s no reason for Ramirez not to take part in the tournament. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said he’s going to look to schedule another opponent for Ramirez in the near future. Arum didn’t say who that opponent would be. If Arum is going to pick from the WBC’s top 15, it would be nice to see him select someone with talent like Ryan Martin, Sergey Lipinets or Omar Figueroa. It’s doubtful that Arum will select any of those guys because they might beat Ramirez. It’s likely that Ramirez’s next opponent will be selected low in the WBC’s rankings. I think it’ll be one of these fighters:
– Yves Ulysse Jr.
– Antonio DeMarco
– Alberto Puello
– Hiroki Okada
– Mohammad Mimoune
– Antonio Orozco
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Viktor Postol get a shot, even though he’s coming off of a loss to Josh Taylor. Ramirez vs. Postol is a very predicable fight. Postol is promoted by Top Rank, so it makes him an obvious choice for Ramirez to fight. However, it’s always bad when a fighter that was just beaten is given a world title shot. The hardcore boxing fans are very aware when that happens. It’s a disappointment when it takes place. The casual boxing fans rarely are aware when things like that happen.