Unified junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez, the undefeated pride of California’s Central Valley, today announced he has signed a new multi-year deal with Top Rank. Ramirez turned pro with Top Rank after representing the United States at the 2012 London Olympics.
This new deal is among boxing’s most lucrative long-term promotional pacts and keeps Ramirez in the fold for Top Rank on ESPN main events for years to come.
“I turned pro with Top Rank, and this is where I want to be,” Ramirez said. “Thank you to Bob Arum, Todd duBoef, the entire Top Rank team and my manager, Rick Mirigian, for believing in me. While I am a unified 140-pound world champion, there is so much for me still to accomplish. I want to become undisputed champion in 2020, and I am confident that my dream will become a reality.”
“Top Rank developed Jose as a professional, and we are thrilled to continue our working relationship with them for the foreseeable future,” Mirigian said. “Matchmakers Brad Goodman and Bruce Trampler gave Jose the experience he needed from a young age, and when it came time to fight for a world title, he was ready. What this contract represents is Jose’s standing atop the 140-pound division and as one of the world’s truly elite fighters.”
“I don’t know if I have ever come across a young man who is as well-rounded as Jose Ramirez,” Arum said. “He is a hero in the Central Valley of California, a champion who uses his platform to lift up everyone around him. He’s a great fighter, but he’s an even better human being. Jose is Fresno’s professional sports franchise, and he will conquer the rest of the globe, beginning in China Feb. 1 against Viktor Postol live on ESPN. He is only beginning to scratch the surface as a fighter, and the impact he will have as a humanitarian will be felt for years to come.
“A special thank you to Rick Mirigian, who worked tirelessly closing this deal and developing Jose into one of the sport’s great attractions.”
Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs), from Avenal, Calif., has made three defenses of the WBC world title he won in March 2018. He cemented his status as one of the world’s elite pugilists in July when he knocked out Maurice Hooker to unify the WBC and WBO titles. He will defend against WBC mandatory and former world champion Postol Feb. 1 (Feb. 2 local time in China) and hopes to unify all major world title belts by fighting, and defeating, IBF/WBA junior welterweight world champion Josh Taylor.
For all Ramirez has accomplished in the ring, he’s remained committed to numerous social causes impacting his home region. He’s fought for water rights for area farmers, spoken out on behalf of immigrants in his community and in 2015 established a scholarship fund at Fresno State University to help graduates of Avenal High School pursue their dreams of higher education. The theme of his February 2019 title defense against Jose Zepeda at Fresno’s Save Mart Center was “KO Cancer,” and a portion of proceeds benefitted the Community Cancer Institute in Clovis, Calif. Ramirez also auctioned off his fight-worn outfit to benefit the cause. And, in September, a life-size statue of Ramirez was unveiled at the Fresno County Historical Museum to honor his charitable contributions to the Central Valley.
Photos: Damon Gonzalez/Latinbox Sports