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Jose Ramirez wants Maurice Hooker next, then Prograis

Latest Jose Carlos Ramirez Matchroom Boxing Maurice Hooker Ramirez vs. Hooker Regis Prograis top rank


By Chris Williams: WBC light welterweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs) says he’s hoping his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank will allow him to fight unbeaten WBO 140 lb champion Maurice Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KOs) in a unification match, and then after that face WBC Diamond champion Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs).

What could make it a problem for the Ramirez vs. Hooker fight to get put together are the networks. Hooker fights on DAZN, whereas Ramirez is with Top Rank and his fights are shown on ESPN. As long as both networks are on board with the Ramirez vs. Hooker fight being shared in a dual-network broadcast, then it’s a doable fight. It’s important for Ramirez to take the fight with Hooker for good money while he still can.


Once the talented Prograis or Josh Taylor are done with the World Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament they’re currently competing in, they’ll likely beat Ramirez and take his title from him. Ramirez is a good fighter, but he’s shown the type of talent that would suggest that he could beat guys like Prograis, Taylor or Ivan Baranchyk. Top Rank was smart in not having Ramirez fight in the WBSS tournament. If he had, he probably would have been eliminated in his first fight.

“I’m not worried about Prograis. He has the [World Boxing Super Series] tournament. After the tournament, we’ll definitely make the fight happen,” Jose Carlos Ramirez said to Thaboxingvoice. “I’m not going to talk right now [about a fight against Prograis]. It’s useless. It’s going to happen, the fight between me and him…He’s waiting for the [Josh] Taylor fight. Taylor is fighting Ivan [Baranchyk], and he [Prograis] has the winner. After the tournament is done, we’ll make that fight happen,” Ramirez said.

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Ramirez, 26, states that Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn recently sent out an offer to Top Rank for a unification fight between his fighter Hooker, 29, and Ramirez. The offered is rumored to be $4 million range. That’s a ton of money for Ramirez to make if Top Rank is willing to make the fight. The tall 5’11” Hooker is fighter that Ramirez would have a good shot at beating. Hooker all kinds of problems in his fight against Darleys Perez in November 2016. The fight was ruled a 10 round draw, but it looked to many boxing fans like Perez had gotten the better of Hooker. Since then, Hooker has won his last five fights and looked impressive in beating Mikkel LesPierre, Alex Saucedo, Terry Flanagan, Courtney Jackson and Cristobal Cruz.

“We’re in negotiations. The last time I heard, Eddie Hearn sent out an offer to Bob Arum [for the Maurice Hooker fight],” Ramirez said. “So hopefully Bob Arum and Top Rank allows me the opportunity to go out there and prove myself [against Hooker]. Hopefully, they’ll work something out. That’s the fight that I want next. If not, I know Viktor Postol is now my mandatory, and even that Barboza kid. I’ll fight that guy anytime. I want Maurice Hooker, because he’s a champion. It’s an opportunity for me to fight for another title. That’s the goal for me,” Ramirez said.

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Prograis is performing A LOT better than Ramirez right now. There’s no comparison between the two. Ramirez recently struggled to beat Jose Zepeda by a controversial 12 round majority decision last February in Fresno, California. A lot of boxing fans thought that Zepeda deserved the win in that fight, including this writer. Zepeda out-smarted Ramirez and got the better of him. However, this was Ramirez’s hometown, and he was fighting in front of his own boxing fan. As such, it wasn’t all that surprising that the judges had his hand raised as the winner.


Prograis is coming off of a sixth round knockout last Saturday night on April 27 against WBA ‘regular’ light welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh (23-3, 19 KOs) in the WBSS tournament at the Cajun Dome, in Lafayette, Louisiana. Prograis knocked Relikh down with a body shot in round one, and then battered him until his corner threw in the towel in the sixth round. Prograis is now waiting for the winner of this month’s WBSS semifinal fight between IBF light welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk and Josh Taylor to find out which of them will meet up with him in the final of the WBSS tourney.

It’s arguably been a stroke of luck for Ramirez that Taylor and Prograis both took part in the WBSS tournament when they did. If not for that, Ramirez very likely would have lost to one of them, and his reign as the World Boxing Council 140 lb champion would have been short, very short. Ramirez won the vacant WBC title last year in March in defeating Amir Imam by a 12 round unanimous decision.

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Prograis won the interim WBC light welterweight title last year in stopping Julius Indongo by a second round knockout on March 9, 2018. Prograis wanted to hurry up and fight Ramirez for his WBC title, but Top Rank wanted to let the fight build up by having Prograis fight on Ramirez’s undercard first before making the fight. Prograis couldn’t do that because it conflicted with him entering the WBSS tournament. So instead of fighting Ramirez for his WBC title in 2018, Prograis competed in the WBSS tournament and defeated former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan by a 12 round unanimous decision last October in the quarterfinal.

Top Rank needs to let Ramirez take the fight with Hooker. If the money is as good as what it’s rumored to be, Ramirez will get a good payday in a fight that he can definitely win against Hooker. With that kind of money, Ramirez will be doing well as he moves forward with his career.

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