Central Valley native, Fresno State alumnus and former Olympian Jose Ramirez is looking to defend his WBC Light Welterweight world title on national television against undefeated San Diego native Antonio Orozco at the Save Mart Center on Friday night.
Ramirez, who has a record of 22-0 with 16 knockouts, will face his toughest opponent to date in Orozco, who also has an undefeated record of 27-0. Orozco, is looking to make a name for himself in front of what is expected to be a large crowd.
With both fighters looking to secure themselves atop of respective weight classes, a win will cement the winner as a top candidate for a bigger, more lucrative fight.
After traveling to New York City and defeating Amir Imam to win the title in March, Ramirez was scheduled to defend his title against Danny O’Connor July 7 at the Save Mart Center. O’Connor, however, couldn’t make weight and was pulled from the fight last-minute due to dehydration.
Ramirez’s promoter, Top Rank, was quick to find a date for his eventual title defense which would take place in the same venue. The next step was finding an opponent. Top Rank managed to make a deal with Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Orozco, for the fight to take place.
After parting ways with his former trainer, Freddie Roach, after the Imam fight, Ramirez will have new trainer, Robert Garcia, in his corner for the title fight.
For Ramirez, this fight should be a tougher challenge than the one his last opponent was offering. With Orozco being regarded as a top contender in his weight class, this could be Ramirez’s biggest challenge to date.
Orozco’s undefeated record speaks for itself, but he has missed big opportunities for more exposure by not making weight before his fights.
In the fight, Ramirez will have the advantage in height and reach, but Orozco has more experience in fights and age. With both fighters being orthodox, there is a great chance of strong exchanges in the middle of the ring.
This might be the last real chance for Orozco who is 30 years old and might not get anymore chances like this one.
The match is set on Friday night because Saturday night will be all about the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Gennady “GGG” Golovkin rematch. However the title fight at the Save Mart Center can produce real fireworks inside the ring with both boxers having tremendous knockout power.
Expectations are high for Ramirez’s first title defense, especially after the last one was canceled. The crowd will mostly be on his side, cheering on the native of Avenal. Orozco has a real opportunity to finally cement his name as a real contender and finally get the money fights he’s been looking for.
Whomever comes out as victor in the end will have his name come up whenever the top promoters in the game are looking for Las Vegas Pay-Per-View fights.
The fight will be televised nationally by ESPN and ESPN Deportes and will be the main event of the night.