Lost in the all the hype surrounding the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, is Jr Welterweight World Champion Jose Ramirez defending his WBC title on Friday night. Live on ESPN from the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, CA, Ramirez (22-0) will face his toughest test to date when he squares off with Antonio Orozco. The San Diego resident sports an undefeated record of 27-0.
Ramirez is a highly decorated amateur who represented the United States at the 2012 Olympics. He’s currently enjoying the best performances of his young career, defeating Mike Reed and Amir Imam in his most recent fights. Ramirez took his talents to the next level in both performances and exceeded critics expectations. Now, as he headlines another sold out event in his hometown, as a World Champion, Ramirez is expected to once again to take his skills to another level.
Orozco is no slouch as he too had a solid amateur career. As a professional, Orozco has done nothing short of over achieve expectations and position himself for the biggest fight of his career. Orozco has a few notable and impressive wins on his resume that include Keandre Gibson, Humberto Soto and Emmanuel Taylor.
Ramirez-Orozco on paper looks like it can give us one of those classic Mexican slugfests ala Barrera-Morales. Both fighters are heavy handed and rely on volume punching to get the job done. It could easily develop into a phone booth battle leaving the crowd and viewing audience in awe.
It’s great to see Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions once again putting aside their differences and giving fight fans quality, cross promotion, high quality fights.
On the Undercard, feared Russian prospect Alexander Besputin fights for the vacant USBA Welterweight Title. Besputin (10-0) will face Alan Sanchez (20-3-1) of Fairfield, CA. Besputin is expected to become a world champion one day and he appears to be on an accelerated path. In his short career, he’s already beaten fringe contenders Bredis Prescott and Saul Corral. You can find a feature article on Besputin at The Grueling Truth.
World Ranked Jr Welterweight prospect Hiroki Okada will see action In a 10 rounder. Okada (18-0) will face veteran Christian Rafael Coria (27-6-2). Coria challenged for the WBA International title in 2016, losing to Daud Yordan. Okada, the WBO Asian Pacific Super Lightweight Champion, will be making his American debut.
US Marine veteran Jamel Herring (17-2) will face John Vincent Morales (20-1) for the vacant USBA Lightweight title. Herring and Top Rank are providing all Marines, past or present, with free tickets. This will be Herring’s second fight under Top Rank and Bo McIntyre, Terence Crawford’s lead trainer.
Teenage sensation Gabriel Flores will be featured in a 6 round special attraction bout. The 18 year old Stockon , CA product sports an undefeated record of 9-0. This will be his 5th fight of 2018 as he faces off with Roger Gutierrez (7-1-1) of Pacomia, CA. Top Rank is very high on Flores, a recent High School graduate. They except Flores to be a future face of the promotion.