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Jose Ramirez: 'I Want to Make a Statement and Put on a Show'
STEVEN HEADSHOT 1
By Steven Sanchez
Published 1 month ago on
April 26, 2024

Former world champion Jose Ramirez (28-1) says he wants to put on a show for Valley boxing fans Saturday night and get back in the world title conversation. (GV Wire/Steven Sanchez)

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All of the boxers on Saturday night’s big card at the Save Mart Center will enter the ring with something to prove.

“I’m looking to world championship fights at 140. It can be anybody. I wouldn’t mind moving up to the 145 weight division. It’s time for me to make that move.” — Jose Ramirez

And that includes Valley hero Jose Ramirez, who is looking to reclaim a world title. Ramirez will be expected to fill the seats for his new promoter — Oscar De La Hoya —while facing former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy, the 37-year-old Cuban fighting out of Las Vegas, in a scheduled 12-round super lightweight bout.

“I found chemistry with Oscar. We’re both Olympians, he was my favorite fighter growing up,” said Ramirez, who parted ways with Bob Arum’s Top Rank. “Him being an Olympian, world champion, and promoter, that’s the route I want to take. He’s very involved in the sport and that’s why I chose to work with him and the business behind it was great.”

As for Saturday’s bout, Ramirez says: “I’m ready for Saturday. My goal is to be back on top. I feel I’m one of the best 140-pounders in the world. It starts by making a statement.”

Said De La Hoya about the card:

“We have an absolutely stacked card Saturday night in Fresno. We have a slew of top prospects looking to advance to contender status. We have world championship gold on the line in the Women’s flyweight division. We have a true crossroads match between two longtime Golden Boy fighters looking to rebound and get back on the championship track.

And we have two of the best and best-known boxers in the world topping the card in separate fights, looking to impress and take another step towards glory.”

Jose Ramirez’s Return

Ramirez (28-1, 18 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 7 boxer at 140 pounds. The Olympian made four successful title defenses and unified belts before he dropped a decision to Josh Taylor in an undisputed championship fight in May 2021.

The 31-year-old most recently scored an 11th-round KO of Richard Commey (30-5-1) in March 2023 at the Save Mart Center.

Ramirez has had just two bouts since the Taylor loss. In March 2022, he scored a unanimous decision over Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza, also at the Save Mart Center.

Barthelemy (30-2-1, 15 KOs) has had title reigns at 130 and 135 pounds but hasn’t competed in a title bout since a 2018 decision loss to Kiryl Relikh.

Ramirez is looking to return to the top of the division and has his eyes set on the future.

“I’m looking to world championship fights at 140. It can be anybody. I wouldn’t mind moving up to the 145 weight division. It’s time for me to make that move. There’s a lot of great fighters, but I’m focused on Saturday, and I want to make a statement and put on a good show,” he said

Fans Support Ramirez and He Returns the Favor

Ramirez has fought 13 of his 29 pro bouts in the Valley, including seven appearances at the Save Mart Center, and has a loyal local following.

“It’s quite an honor to be a part of boxing, and the Central Valley. Very thankful for the fans and sponsors,” Ramirez said. “It’s because of the fans that the networks are interested on brining boxing back to the Central Valley. I appreciate the support.”

Thursday’s news conference also shined a spotlight on Ramirez and his charitable contributions in the Valley. He’s been involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County and helping local farmworkers, among several humanitarian efforts.

Left to right: Marlen Esparza, Oscar Duarte, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Jose Ramirez, Joseph Diaz Jr., Gabriela Alaniz, Raul Curiel, and Jennah Creason at a new conference at Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, Thursday, April 25, 2024. (GV Wire/Steven Sanchez)

Vergil Ortiz Jr.’s Confidence

The confidence of the super welterweight world title contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. (20-0, 20 KOs) was a highlight of the conference. He’ll face Thomas Dulorme (26-6-1, 17 KOs), who has suffered three consecutive losses, including a first-round KO loss to rising star Jaron Ennis in October 2021, before recovering in a third-round TKO win over Abraham Peralta in July 2022.

“All everyone should know is that we had a great training camp, trained hard, and had incredible sparring,” said Ortiz.

The 34-year-old Puerto Rican fighter has won only two of his past seven fights and will enter the ring Saturday on the heels of a career-long 21-month layoff.

Since March 2022, Ortiz has withdrawn from three fights due to health issues related to rhabdomyolysis. He was rated No. 3 by ESPN at 147 pounds and was set to meet Eimantas Stanionis last year. That fight was postponed three times; first after Stanionis underwent an emergency appendectomy and then twice due to Ortiz’s rhabdomyolysis recurrence.

Ortiz is the No. 1 contender to the WBA title held by Israil Madrimov. If he beats Dulorme, then the stage will be set for him to meet Tim Tszyu in an Aug. 3 fight on the Terence Crawford vs. Ismail Madrimov undercard. The 26-year-old has a 100% percent knockout ratio.

Undercard Card

On the undercard is Oscar “La Migraña” Duarte (26-2-1, 21 KOs) and U.S. Olympian and former world champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (33-5-1, 15 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight match.

In the night’s championship bout, Unified WBA, WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine Flyweight World Champion Marlen Esparza (14-1, 1 KOs) puts her titles on the line in another bad-blood rematch against the former WBC Champ of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Gabriela “La Chucky” Alaniz (14-1, 6 KOs). This will be a 10-round championship bout.

Esparza has been on a seven-fight win streak since 2020. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist won the WBC flyweight title in 2021, the WBA and Ring belts in 2022, and the WBO title that she took from Alaniz in July 2023. Alaniz is an Argentine National Champion who won the WBO flyweight belt in 2022. She comes to the ring with six wins via knockout. The pair were supposed to fight in March but was cut due to visa issues.

Opening the DAZN broadcast, NABF Welterweight Title Holder Raul “El Cugar” Curiel (14-0, 12 KOs) defends his regional title against Jorge Marron Jr. (20-4-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Curiel (14-0) is a former Olympian and multi-time amateur medalist. The Mexican fighter won the NABF title back in 2021. He has won 12 contests through knockout with nine straight fights by way of the power punch. Marron (20-4-2) is 1-2-2 in his last five fights with his last win back in 2021. The California native has won seven fights through knockout.

On the preliminary card and making her highly anticipated professional debut is Jennah “The Gem” Creason, from Visalia. She’s set for a four-round welterweight fight against a soon to be announced opponent.  She’s made a name for herself in the area. She trains in seven different sports: Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, Muay-Thai, Boxing, Judo, No-Gi, and holds a brown belt in Shotokan Karate.

Creason is USA Boxing’s No.1-ranked, two-time USA Boxing National Champion; a two-time Desert Showdown champion; a Junior Golden Gloves Champion; a Gold/Silver States Champion and a National Silver Gloves Champion; and was the 2023 CIF Girls State champion in wrestling. Her corner includes HOF and trainer of the year Robert Garcia and UFC HOF legend Bob Cook.

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Steven Sanchez,
Content Manager/Entertainment Editor
Steven Sanchez, a resident of Clovis, graduated from Buchanan High School in the class of 2007 and obtained his film degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Steven is a multifaceted artist, working as a filmmaker, writer, photographer, videographer, and published author. He has a profound passion for movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A dedicated football enthusiast, he cheers for the Las Vegas Raiders. In his leisure time, he indulges in reading and collecting vinyl records. Steven is often found attending rock shows in town, a keen enthusiast of live music. He holds a special fondness for his grandma's homemade meals and spending time with his twin sister.

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