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Jose Ramirez rejects Regis Prograis WBC 140-lb title shot

Image: Jose Ramirez rejects Regis Prograis WBC 140-lb title shot

By Dan Ambrose: Jose Ramirez has chosen to reject a title shot against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis due to his reported unhappiness with the 65/35 purse split he would be getting for the fight, according to Mike Coppinger of ESPN. Instead of that split, Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) wanted a 50/50 split as the challenger.

Ramirez says he “hopes to make the fight happen in the future” with Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs).

Turning down the fight is a good way for Ramirez to dodge a loss to Prograis because the way he’s looked recently, he’d stand no chance against the newly crowned WBC champion.

Ramirez lost to Josh Taylor last year, and in 2020, he barely beat Viktor Postol. The year before that, Ramirez won a highly controversial 12 round majority decision over Jose Zepeda.

For the fans that saw that fight, they felt that Zepeda got robbed.  You can argue that Ramirez’s record in his last five fights should be 2-3. With the Ramirez has performed since 2019, the last thing he needs is to fight a talent like Prograis. That guy might finish what’s left of Ramirez’s sinking career because he looks over the hill.

On social media, Ramirez is being raked over the coals by boxing fans, who see this as a 100% duck on his part by turning down a title shot. Instead of fighting Prograis, Ramirez could wind up fighting the 35-year-old former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey, who has a 2-2-1 record in his last five fights.

For Ramirez’s sake, we hope he doesn’t hold his breath waiting for a second chance because he’s an old 30, not getting any better, as we saw in his poor performances in his last two fights against Jose Pedraza and Josh Taylor.

Prograis wanted to fight Ramirez years ago but was foiled at every turn, and wound up choosing to fight in a tournament, losing to the Scottish fighter Taylor by a highly questionable decision in 2019 in London, England. This writer saw that fight and had Prograis winning. Interestingly, Taylor never gave Prograis a rematch.

“I’m disappointed in that split,” Ramirez said to ESPN. “This fight should definitely be a 50-50 [split], and I was OK on taking 10% less, but I can’t be fighting for free and risk too much of a pay cut. Boxing is a tough sport, and we want to make sure we get valued.

“This is a huge fight [vs. Prograis] that is not being promoted properly. Hopefully, we can make the fight happen in the future when we both get compensated as we should.”

You got to wonder what Top Rank is thinking about Ramirez turning down a title shot against Prograis. Will they put Ramirez in line to fight for the WBO belt against Josh Taylor? Top Rank also promotes Taylor.

The thing is, if Ramirez challenges for the WBO belt, it would be as a voluntary challenger because he’s ranked only #3, behind #1 Teofimo Lopez and #2 Liam Paro.

Teofimo is getting first dibs at fighting the winner of the Taylor vs. Jack Catterall rematch. With Ramirez turning down the Prograis fight, Teofimo is the next up in the WBC’s rankings to be offered the fight against Regis, but he probably won’t take the fight, though; he’ll likely go in the path of least resistance against Josh Taylor.

It’s highly unlikely Teofimo will take the fight against Prograis either, especially with how Teo looked in winning a controversial 10 round decision over Sandor Martin.

Teofimo has regressed badly as a fighter since his victory over Vasyl Lomachenko, and he would have significant problems against Prograis.

Top Rank needs to make a decision on what they want to do with Teofimo because he’s going to lose repeatedly if they match him against contenders and have quality judges working his fights.

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