By Sam Volz: Former WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez will take another confidence-builder fight against Richard Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs) on March 25th in the main event on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ from the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California. The event begins at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) has taken a lot of flak from the boxing world in the last two weeks after turning down a title shot against WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis.
There won’t be a lot of interest from boxing fans in seeing Ramirez fight the faded Commey, who comes into the fight having been easily beaten by Vasyl Lomachenko in 2021 and knocked out by Teofimo Lopez in 2019.
Commey isn’t the ideal opponent for Ramirez to fight, with him turning down a title shot against Prograis. To defuse the criticism from fans, Ramirez should have, at the very least, picked Arnold Barboza, Gary Antuanne Russell, or Sandor Martin.
Although Ramirez says he wasn’t happy with the 65-35 split, what looks bad in the fans’ eyes is he’s facing the 35-year-old Commey and will likely make less money. Ramirez says he wanted a 50-50 split with the champion Prograis as the challenger to his WBC belt.
There won’t be a world title on the line for the Ramirez-Commey fight, and it won’t be an eliminator, which is understandable, considering that Commey’s recent ring record is 1-2-1 in his last four fights.
Top Rank hasn’t revealed what direction they’re moving the 30-year-old Ramirez in terms of world titles. His decision to reject a title shot with WBC champion Prograis has hurt his rankings, resulting in the World Boxing Council moving him from #1 to #6.
Top Rank appears to be moving Ramirez toward a title shot against WBO champion Josh Taylor. Ramirez is ranked #3 with the WBO, so it shouldn’t be too long for him to get a crack at Taylor.
In May 2021, Ramirez lost a 12 round unanimous decision to Taylor in a battle for the undisputed light welterweight championship. Taylor knocked Ramirez down twice in that fight.
It was a close fight, and conceivably, Ramirez can beat Taylor if he doesn’t make the same mistakes as he did last time. Still, it will be challenging because the Scot outsmarted him, which could happen again.
With that said, it’s not a certainty the fight will happen. If Ramirez prices himself out by expecting to have equal footing, he’ll be stuck as a contender and will have to continue fighting the likes of Commey and Jose Pedraza.
“Richard Commey is a championship fighter with everything to gain,” said Ramirez. “I expect the best version of Commey on March 25. My goal is to become champion again, and I am more motivated than ever to prove that I am the best junior welterweight in the world.”
In the chief support bout, WBA minimumweight champion Seniesa Estrada fights WBC champ Tina Rupprecht.