By Robert Segal: Jose Ramirez and his opponent Richard Commey weighed 140 pounds on Friday for their 12-round WBC light welterweight title eliminator main event fight this Saturday, March 25th, at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California. The event starts at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+.
(Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
It’s essential that Ramirez look good against Commey because he’s not been impressive in several years, and some fans believe he’s on the downside.
It could be a waste of time for the World Boxing Council to have made the Ramirez-Commey fight an official WBC 140-lb title eliminator because Ramirez already turned down a title shot against champion Regis Prograis after the fight was ordered.
The 36-year-old Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs) is a more winnable fight for Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) than going up against Prograis, who many fan views as the #1 fighter in the 140-lb division today.
With the way Ramirez has looked in his last three fights, losing to Josh Taylor and laboring to beat Jose Pedraza and Viktor Postol, he’s not on the same level as Prograis or some of the other top fighters in the 140-lb division.
Ramirez reportedly wanted a 50-50 purse split for the Prograis fight, which would never happen. Ramirez certainly won’t get a 50-50 split against WBO champion Josh Taylor either, but perhaps he’d be more willing to take that fight because it’s more winnable and an in-house one involving their promoters at Top Rank.
Ramirez-Commey undercard weights:
Seniesa Estrada 104.2 vs. Tina Rupprecht 104.8
Antonio Mireles 265.4 vs. Patrick Mailata 321.4
(ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)
Raymond Muratalla 136.6 vs. Humberto Galindo 136
Charlie Sheehy 134.8 vs. Angel Rebollar 133.4
Jessie James Guerrero 109 vs. Eduardo Alvarez 108.6
Ricardo Ruvalcaba 140.8 vs. Marco Antonio Cardenas 140.4
Subaru Murata 121.6 vs. Jose Negrete 121.4
Jose Ramirez: “It’s motivating fighting here, Max. We’re expecting 15,000 people,” said Jose Ramirez to Max On Boxing, talking about fighting at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
“It’s not just Fresno. It’s all the smalltown communities that support me, including my hometown of Avenal. There are a lot of families here. I was really honored to open up this market as a new boxing market.
“You’d be surprised how many people follow boxing just because of me, and I think to the people, I’ll be the best boxer ever to put gloves on,” said Ramirez.
“Hey, you got some good pockets of boxing fans right in that area in Southern California, and it produced some great fights,” said Max Kellerman to Ramirez.
Max Kellerman: “You originally turned down a fight against [WBC light welterweight champion] Regis Prograis over the purse split, which you thought should be 50-50, and setting up this fight with Richard Commey. What can you tell us about the decision to do that.”
Ramirez: “Max, it’s not that simple as the 35%. It’s what the 35% equals. Obviously, 35% of a ten million purse bid, I’ll take that all day. But when my 35% is equivalent to one-fourth of my minimum with Top Rank and ESPN, it just makes no sense. I know my value, and I know my worth.
“This promotion because of the disagreements between Probellum and Top Rank, nobody really tried to make this fight happen. It was just a quick talk of the 35%, but after this fight if he’s [Regis Prograis] serious about fighting me and serious about, we’ll sit down and talk about it.
“Maybe have his promoter send me an offer instead of a percentage from the WBC, expecting a network to come and a different promoter to come to put up the money. Their management team should send me an offer, likewise to Top Rank, hoping they send him an offer and we can look at some real numbers,” said Ramirez.