BoxingFight Previews

Jose Ramirez looks to unify world titles at 140 lbs on Saturday, DAZN

WBC super lightweight world champion and 2012 U.S.Olympian Jose Ramirez of Avenal, Ca, is hitting the third phase of his career, which is how great can he become? Ramirez has accomplished the first parts as he rounds home in the last half of his career which are; developing into a contender and the second part winning a world title, which he did in March of 2018 in Madison Square Garden beating Amir Imam for the vacant title.

Ramirez, who has been one of the best regional draws of the past 20 years is now hitting the road to Dallas, Texas in hopes of picking up another belt in the process as he faces WBO super lightweight world champion, Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, fighting him in Hooker’s hometown. It is adversity that Ramirez hasn’t faced since he was much younger and before he was pro, comparable in my opinion only to when he fought toe-to-toe, punch-for-punch with Vasyl Lomachenko in 2012. Ramirez will now look to cement his legacy fighting a tough world champion, Hooker, who has been in an underdog in every major bout and seems to relish it.

Ramirez, who has made two world title defenses against Antonio Orozco and Jose Zepeda, both of which in Fresno, California, with his new coach, Robert Garcia, after leaving Freddie Roach last year, the man he had been with since the beginning of his career. Ramirez has trucked along and become one of the best of his era, just never quite got the massive appreciation outside of the Fresno/Avenal area, yet.

His opponent, Hooker, is a fighter who has taken the backroads to the top of the sport, getting a tough draw with Darleys Perez on the Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev pay-per-view card that saw most write him off. Hooker became a road warrior beating Terry Flanagan on the road in the U.K. to win the world title and then stopping Alex Saucedo in Saucedo’s hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Hooker is becoming a fighter who is trending unfathomably. Hooker went from beatable prospect to potentially a fighter with the ceiling of a long-standing world champion with vast improvements and lack of credit for accomplishments in their prime.

This is one of the bouts will define Ramirez. So far he has two magnificent performances, his star-making stoppage of Mike Reed in Fresno and his world title win over Amir Imam. Now, it is time for Ramirez to level up and become on the capital G “guys” of boxing, a major player, a major face of Top Rank, one who could foreseeably be on pay-per-view fighting Terence Crawford. It seems like hyperbole, but it is the truth. Ramirez is close to being in the position, if not already there, it is just up to the fans to follow.

Ramirez fights Hooker on DAZN, a streaming service, Saturday evening at the 

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle