Jose Ramirez vs. Viktor Postol on May 9 at RISK of being postponed
By Kenneth Friedman: It’s quite possible that the next important fight that is in position to be postponed is the May 9 contest between WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol.
Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) is defending against his WBC mandatory Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) in his hometown at the Save Mart Arena, in Fresno, California. The headliner in a Top Rank card on ESPN, but it’s one that could postpone due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jose Ramirez vs. Viktor Postol has already been postponed once
Ramirez needs to defeat the 36-year-old Postol to face IBF/WBA 140-lb champion Josh Taylor in a fight for the undisputed light welterweight championship.
“We don’t want it to happen twice in a row,” said Ramirez’s trainer to ESPN.com about the Postol fight. “Everybody else is staying at home. I told them to stay at home.”
Assuming that the Ramirez vs. Postol fight gets postponed, that would make it second twice that the fight has failed to happen because of the COVID 19 situation. Originally, Top Rank had Ramirez and Postol scheduled to fight on February 1 in Haikou, China. Wisely, Top Rank chose to reschedule the fight for May 9, but it might need to be postponed again.
Ramirez starts training camp this week
“I got Postol ahead of me. I’m not looking past Postol, but I will take on [Josh] Taylor if he accepts the terms,” said Ramirez to SNOWQUEENLA. “Afterwards, the WBO will accept me fighting Taylor instead of Jack. Taylor is the one I want before the year ends.
“I’m starting camp this week, and I’m looking forward to putting in a great camp for the fight [against Postol]. He’s experienced, and he’s been in the ring against the best at 140 pounds in the world. He fought [Terence] Crawford, and he fought [Josh] Taylor. He gave Taylor a great fight.
“He’s hungry, and he once had it when he beat Lucas Matthysse,” Ramirez said of Postol. “So I know he’s going to come prepared. This is his second opportunity of being in the big leagues, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited at fighting a fighter with that motivation, and he’s an important piece to my puzzle,” said Ramirez.
The training that Ramirez does may prove to be useless if his May 9 contest against Postol is postponed due to the coronavirus. It’s got to be tough for Ramirez, 27, with him not knowing whether the Posto fight will be postponed or not.
Jose Ramirez wants to become the undisputed champion
“My goal is to become the undisputed world champion,” said Ramirez. “One fight at a time, I’m going to get there. He’s in my way. I’m going to go out there and make a statement. I don’t just want to beat him, but make a strong statement of who Jose Ramirez is.
“I’ll fight Regis [Prograis] at any time,” said Ramirez. “My goal is to become undisputed world champion, and then everybody else, line them up. I know if he [Prograis] was in my position, he’d want the same thing, to fight the guys with the belts. That’s the goal to fight Taylor, and then light anybody up, you know?
“Him, Regis Prograis or anybody at 147 because I’ll most likely make the move up to 147. Just all the champions. I don’t want to mention the names because I don’t want to forget any names, but all the champions. When I make the move to 147, it’s to be the best at the weight,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez has already won two of the four world titles at 140 in capturing the WBC and WBO belts, and he just needs to beat Josh Taylor to win the last two belts.
Pacquiao fight one that Ramirez wants
To be the best, I have to beat the best fighters and champions. I really do want to become a multi-division world champion, and that will be the goal,” said Ramiez. “And I have [trained with Mikey Garcia].
“I actually sparred four or five times before his fight with Jessie Vargas. And I was on my way out and started with some sparring, and it was a good experience. It was good sparring him and Virgil Ortiz.
“I would take that fight [Manny Pacquiao] at any time,” said Ramirez. “One because he’s a champion at 147, and two beating a fighter like Manny Pacquiao would elevate me as a fighter. My name in the boxing world would increase if I was to beat a guy like Manny Pacquiao. I sparred Manny Pacquiao so many rounds. I know him really well, and his team knows me.
“Actually, a while back, Bob Arum offered the fight before he left Top Rank, and Manny Pacquiao decided to go a different route. He fought someone else. His team said the risk was too high for the reward because I was just a champion and not a fighter that he wants to fight. But one fight at a time,” said Ramirez.
If Ramirez can get some big wins under his belt at 140, he’ll be able to get the fight he wants against Pacquiao and other welterweight champions. IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBO champion Terence Crawford would be on Ramirez’s target list.
Ramirez not worried about being avoided
“I’ll make my own destiny, I’ll make my own history and anybody at 140,” said Ramirez. “When the time is right, I’ll fight anybody at 147. People need to understand that I’m still a 140-pounder.
“My body is still 140-pounder. But once I get a chance to put on the extra pounds and work on my strength, you’re going to see a much bigger Jose Ramirez. Then you can compare me to 147. It’s one step at a time.
“His heart, he has a tremendous heart,” said Ramirez when asked ‘what makes Manny Pacquiao so great?’ “He has that will to go through adversity, and he works really, really hard. For his age, he doesn’t stop. He pushes himself, and he has a lot of pride within himself and his country. I think that makes him a stronger fighter,” said Ramirez.
As Ramirez mentions, there was a time where his promoter Bob Arum wanted to put a fight together between him and Manny Pacquiao. Unfortunately for Ramirez, Pacquiao went in another direction. Ramirez was viewed as too much trouble for what he brought to the table.
Even now, Ramirez is more trouble than he’s worth for a higher like Pacquiao or even WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. That’s why it’s important for Ramirez to become the undisputed light welterweight champion by beating IBF/WBA 140-lb champion Josh Taylor, and then defeat the next best guy in former WBA champion Regis Prograis.
If Ramirez beats those two fighters, then that’ll increase his profile and make it easier for him to get fights against Pacquiao and Crawford.
Catterall an obstacle for Ramirez
“He’s fighting for more than himself, and I like that about him. I respect that,” Ramirez said of Pacquiao. “At 140, there are a couple of guys that are in front of me. There’s Viktor Postol, and if Jack Catterall doesn’t want to take the money to step aside, because I do have the WBO mandatory.
“So if Jack doesn’t want to step aside to let me go against Taylor for all these belts, then I have to fight Jack. And then after Jack, I’ll fight Taylor. After that, I’ll fight anybody at 140 or 147,” said Ramirez.
It’s not likely that WBO Jack Catterall (25-0, 13 KOs) will agree to a step aside feel so that Ramirez can fight IBF/WBA champion Josh Taylor. Catterall has worked hard to become mandatory for Ramirez, and he’s not going to want to sit and wait.
The main issue with Catterall taking a step aside fee is that he would need to keep busy fighting other guys while he waits for the smoke to clear from the Ramirez vs. Taylor fight. While Catterall is a good fighter, he’s not the greatest, and he could lose to somebody. If that happens, then Catterall could forget about him fighting for the WBO title.
Ramirez shocked at Wilder’s loss to Fury
“It would be a great fight for Pacquiao too. He’ll be in with a good fighter like Mikey Garcia with a big fan base,” said Ramirez. “I think that’s a fight that should happen next for Mikey. I think Mikey deserves to fight a name like that, I would be there supporting Mikey and staying in tune with the fight. Hopefully, it does happen,” said Ramirez.
“I was actually at the fight, and it was shocking to see Deontay Wilder so out of energy early on in the fight,” said Ramirez when asked about his thoughts on seeing Wilder lose to Tyson Fury last February. “I’ve never seen nothing like that, and I’ve never seen him fight that way.
“He was so tired and fatigued without a game plan. I think he had nothing to show. On the other side, Fury was on him. From the beginning of the bout, he used his size, and he used his weight from the beginning of the fight and took control.
“He kept landing his punches and after the third round, I was ‘Ah, it’s a matter of time.’ I wasn’t expecting it,” said Ramirez on Wilder looking overmatched against Fury.
It’s too bad Ramirez wasn’t Wilder’s trainer because he might have been able to give him some helpful tips to deal with Fury. Fury outweighed Wilder by 40 pounds, and he used that weight to bully him. The power that Wilder normally had on his right-hand shots weren’t there.
What Deontay Wilder went through was a pure nightmare in his loss to Tyson Fury, and there’s nothing that could have saved him. All the years of training looked wasted on Wilder that night, as he looked clueless and never made any adjustments.
Wilder should take time off – Ramirez
“There is a rematch clause, and Wilder is taking it, right?” said Ramirez on the Fury vs. Wilder trilogy. “I think Wilder needs to take some time off and really think about it because of the confidence too. Mentally, he didn’t just get beat. He got beat up. It wasn’t like he lost a fight, and you can come back and train hard. He literally got outperformed in every single aspect of the game.
“So I think the mental part will hurt Wilder coming forward,” said Ramirez. “But it’ll measure what kind of champion he is. If he can come back from it, he has a heart. But I don’t see him beating Tyson Fury in the third fight. He might do a better fight because I doubt he’ll do any worse than he did, but I don’t see him beating Tyson Fury,” said Ramirez.
Wilder isn’t listening to the many people that are recommending that he not fight Fury immediately. He’s already executed the rematch clause to fight him in July, and it looks like he’s cash out in that fight. If Wilder loses again to Fury, he’ll at least make a lot of money in doing so.
Fury stopped Wilder in the 7th round in their rematch on February 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. As Ramirez points out, Wilder didn’t look like he was mentally right for that fight. It didn’t help that Wilder came into the contest 19 lbs heavier than he’d been in their first fight in 2018, and he subsequently tired himself out by wearing a heavy 45-lb vest for his ring walk.
Ramirez talks Joshua and Ruiz
“I actually like Anthony Joshua,” said Ramirez. “I think he’s very dedicated, he’s young and he’s very dedicated. That would be a great fight. I think Fury would give anybody a hard time because he can box, his size, and his style of fighting would give anybody problems.
“He can box and move for his size, and he’s got a good rhythm and he throws his jab,” said Ramirez on Joshua. “He uses his right hand behind his jab, and he would give anybody problems. I think he’ll be tough to beat, but I think Joshua will do great. I like him and it would be a great fight. Wouldn’t mind seeing it.
“We shared the same Olympics in 2012 in London, and he’s a great fighter,” said Ramirez about Joshua. “Hopefully, Andy Ruiz gets his act together and gets back in the gym and works hard. I want to see him back in the mix with all those names. In the heavyweight division, there’s a lot of good fights to be made. I’m looking forward to it,” said Ramirez.
Fury’s size, boxing ability, and stamina will be difficult for Joshua to deal with when the time comes for them to fight. It’s a match that will require a lot of adjustments on Joshua’s part for him to have a shot at winning.
Former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz is training to take-off weight, and come back from his loss to Joshua from last December. With the money that Ruiz made from his two clashes with Joshua, it’s going to be hard for him to come back from the loss.
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