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Big Crowd Watches Fresno Boxing. What's Next for Jose Ramirez?
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 years ago on
October 18, 2021

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Rick Mirigian was a happy man on Saturday night about the crowd for the world-class card at Chukchansi Park that he estimated at “just under 10,000 people.”

“Twenty days of me promoting and getting stuff done, I think it’s an absolute success,” Mirigian said.

The California State Athletic Commission had yet to verify the attendance as of Monday morning.

Mirigian helped British super promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing for the big event, which was carried live on streaming service DAZN (pronounced “Da Zone”).

The main parking lot across the street was filled by 5 p.m., something baseball’s Grizzlies do once or twice a season.

The ring was situated in the infield, approximately on the pitching mound. On-the-field seating was underneath a blanket/tarp. I’m told the Grizzlies will have a brand new field for the 2022 season.

The winner, Marc Castro! (GV Wire/Albert Baker)

Mayor Thrilled

Mayor Jerry Dyer, clad in a blue plaid shirt and jeans, had a second-row seat for the action, sitting along with his wife, Diane. He is thrilled about what regular world-class boxing events could mean to Fresno for entertainment and ringing up dollars for the economy.

“We want downtown Fresno to be the entertainment hub of Central California. So I think this is just a taste of it,” Dyer said.

Dyer cheered on Fresnan Marc Castro.

“I love boxing, especially boxers that are a good role models for our youth,” Dyer said. “You look at Marc Castro … he’s homegrown, he graduated from Sunnyside High School. He’s just a good Christian kid and ends up mentoring a lot of kids in our community.”

Dyer said Hearn is welcome back anytime.

“You get a lot of fans here from out of town, so they’re taking up hotel rooms or buying food. Everything that’s going on here at Chukchansi, we need more activity here,” Dyer said.
“I can tell you, the stadium is making a lot of money. The city is making a lot of money. Just look around and see the fans in the seats.”

Mayor Jerry Dyer (right) enjoys boxing at Chukchansi Park with his wife, Diane. (GV Wire/Albert Baker)

What’s Next for Ramirez?

Central Valley boxing favorite Jose Ramirez had a front-row seat, with his family.

“We came here to support Mikey Garcia, Marc Castro, and Bam Rodriguez, to support boxing,” Ramirez said. “I’m happy that  Matchroom Boxing with Eddie Hearn, found interest here in Fresno to bring boxing here and give everyone here in the Valley an opportunity to come and enjoy themselves.”

When might Ramirez fight again?

“We’re starting training camp soon and hopefully early next year with ESPN and Top Rank Boxing, we’re negotiating right now,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez (26-1, 17 KO) last fought in May, losing for the first time in his career to Josh Taylor in a junior welterweight unification bout in Las Vegas.

A Pro Wrestling Flair

Boxing has many similarities to pro wrestling — a loyal, fanatical following, a complex level of organizations, and spectacular ring entrances, or “ring walk,” as ring announcer David Diamante called it.

The difference, of course, is that pro wrestling matches are strictly entertainment exhibitions with officially pre-determined outcomes. Boxing literally can be a matter of life and death for those in the ring.

As if it was booked that way, Fresno-native Marc Castro (4-0, 4 KOs) knocked out Angel Luna in the first round. Castro had a live band playing during his ring walk.

No one had a more impressive ring walk than main eventer Mikey Garcia, the man the many in the crowd came to see. A tractor and a full entourage of fans, musicians, and more led the way. A full fireworks show blasted over the center-field wall.

“You have to make someone feel an emotion. And tonight these people are going to feel that,” Mirigian said of the entrance.

Garcia entered the ring with a black cowboy hat. It mysteriously turned into a white hat in a matter of moments.

Spaniard Sandor Martin (right) upset crowd favorite Mikey Garcia at a Saturday night nationally-televised boxing card. (GV Wire/Albert Baker)

Fresno WWE Results

Results from last week’s WWE card at the Save Mart Center, reported by WrestleZone:

  • United States Championship: Damian Priest defeated Kevin Owens & Seth Rollins
  • WWE Women’s Tag Titles: Rhea Ripley & Nikki ASH defeated Natalya & Tamina
  • Karrion Kross defeated John Morrison
  • WWE RAW Tag Titles: Randy Orton & Riddle defeated AJ Styles & Omos
  • Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs defeated Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss
  • SmackDown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch defeated Bianca Belair
  • Roman Reigns & The Usos defeated Finn Balor & The Street Profits

When the show was first announced, it included a WWE title defense by Big E against Bobby Lashley. Of course, “card subject to change.”

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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