Jose Ramirez faces Viktor Postol in mid-August
By Dan Ambrose: Jose Ramirez could finally be nearing his goal of getting the mandatory defense of his WBC light-welterweight title over with against Viktor Postol in mid-August. The fight has been postponed twice due to the pandemic. It’s now being rescheduled for the third time, and there’s not much interest from fans in this match.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants to get the Ramirez-Postol fight done this summer. They’re looking at potentially scheduling it in Ramirez’s hometown of Fresno, California, at the Save Mart Center. It’s an Arena with a seating capacity of 16,000. Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) has fought there five times in the last, and it appears to be his favorite venue.
The 36-year-old former WBC 140-pound champion Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) will be flying over from Ukraine this Monday, according to ESPN. It’ significant that Postil make it into the U.S early so that the fight can go ahead smoothly without it being postponed a third time. Postol reportedly was waiting for the protests to end in the U.S before coming over.
Viktor Postol to train in a private gym
Postol trains with coach Freddie Roach at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angles, California, but the place is closed right now due to the pandemic. When Postol comes to the U.S, he won’t be able to train at Roach’s gym. Instead, he’ll be training at a private gym, according to Steve Kim of ESPN. Once the quarantine is over, then Postol will train at the Wildcard until his title shot against WBC 140-lb champion Ramirez in mid-August.
Postol hasn’t fought since April of 2019 when he beat Mohamed Mimoune by a 10 round decision. That was the guy that earned Postol his title shot against Ramirez.
The 36-year-old Postol had been beaten by Josh Taylor two fights previous to this in June 2018. You can argue that Postol should have had to beat someone a lot better than Mimoune (22-4, 3 KOs) for him to earn another crack at a world title. Mimoune has losses to these little known fighters:
- Tyrone McKenna
- Alexandre Lepelley
- Kamal Mohamed
The high point of Postol’s career came in October 2015 when he beat Lucas Matthysse by a 10th round eye-injury stoppage. Matthysse suffered an eye injury in the 10th round that caused the fight to be stopped. Before that fight, Postol’s best career win was against Hank Lundy.
Postol had it easy getting title shot
After Postol’s win over Matthysse, he lost to Terence Crawford by a 12 round unanimous decision in June 2016. The fight was one-sided from start to finish with Crawford dropping Postol twice in round five, and cruising the rest of the way to an easy 12 round unanimous decision.
Postol’s wins since his defeat against Crawford have been against these fighters: Jamshidbek Najmitdinov, Siar Ozgul, and Mimoune. It would have been nice if the World Boxing Council set it a tournament to have the top contenders in the WBC ranking earn a title shot.
In looking at Postol’s recent wins, he’s not had to do much to earn a title shot against Ramirez. Postol should have had to fight someone like Regis Prograis, Jose Zepeda, Ivan Baranchyk, or Pablo Cesar Cano to earn a title shot against Ramirez rather than fighting the 32-year-old Mimoune, who has an anemic KO percentage of 11.54.
Could Postol beat someone like Prograis, Zepeda, or Baranchyk. I doubt it. Prograis would likely stop Postol, and Zepeda and Baranchyk would be massive problems for him. It’s too bad the WBC doesn’t make Ramirez their Franchise champion at 140, then he wouldn’t have to worry about defending against Postol.
Ramirez could go straight into a unification fight against Josh Taylor. That’s the fight that boxing fans want to see in the U.S. There’s zero interest in the Ramirez-Postol fight.
That might as well be a stay busy fight for Ramirez because it’s not registering ith fans. And worst of all, the battle keeps getting postponed. It would be sad if Ramirez is still trying to get this title defense over with next year in 2021 against Postol.
Should Ramirez vacate the WBC title?
At that point, Ramirez should consider vacating the WBC title and going straight to the Taylor fight. Ramirez has already wasted an entire year of his career trying to get the Postol fight done with, and he can’t afford to invest two years, can he? Ramirez is hung up on wanting to unify the 140-lb division, but fans don’t care about that garbage.
Look what it did for Terence Crawford. He unified the 140-lb division in beating no-name fighters, and his popularity didn’t increase at all. What fighters and their promoters fail to realize is that fans aren’t impressed with a guy becoming an undisputed champion.
The fans want to see good fights with the best fighting the best, and they want popular fighters involved. If Ramirez thinks his popularity will increase substantially by winning all four titles at light-welterweight, he could be mistaken.
The fans won’t give a fig if Ramirez tosses the WBC belt in the trash can and washes his hands of the Postol fight, and then moves on to the Josh Taylor fight. Ramirez doesn’t need the WBC belt. It’s just a heavy anchor weighing him down needlessly.
Ramirez investing a lot of time in this defense
Ramirez hasn’t fought since beating WBO light-welterweight champion Maurice Hooker by a sixth-round knockout on July 27, 2019. After that impressive win, Ramirez, 27, wanted to take on IBF/WBA 140-pound champion Josh Taylor, but he’s been saddled with his mandatory that he needs to get out of the way against Postol.
With two fights already postponed against the Ukrainian fighter, Ramirez is walking a significant portion of his career go down the drain. It would be one thing if Ramirez had two fights against someone like Prograis postponed, but it’s a different thing with it being against Postol.
Ramirez vs. Postol likely won’t bring in excellent ratings in the U.S because fans aren’t excited about this fight. The casual boxing fans have no idea who Postol is, and the hardcore boxing fans remember how badly over-matched he was in his loss to Crawford.
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