At the age of 25, Jose is a five-year pro. A rising young contender at 140 pounds, he was an elite amateur before his debut – he represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games and was considered by many as the top talent on the U.S. Olympic team. Jose also competed in the 2011 World Championships and won several U.S. national amateur championships.
As a pro, Jose stayed active in the ring with six fights in 2013, six in 2014, three in 2015, three in 2016, and two in 2017. He gave consistently impressive performances and made excellent progress.
At their annual convention in October, the World Boxing Council ordered a final eliminator between No. 3-ranked Jose and No. 1-ranked Amir Imam to determine their next super lightweight mandatory world title challenger. But WBC champion Terence Crawford vacated the title shortly after that to move up in weight, and the WBC ruled that Jose’s fight against Imam will now be for the vacant WBC super lightweight world title.
Jose and Imam both already had separate fights scheduled on the same card in November – both won, and their fight for the world championship is now scheduled for early 2018.
In his last fight on November 11 in Fresno, California, Jose scored his career-best win by second-round knockout against previously undefeated Mike Reed, his most talented and accomplished opponent yet.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported [excerpts]: What else is there to say about Ramirez’s performance except that it was spectacular?
The 2012 U.S. Olympian thrilled a wild home region crowd of 13,838 – a Save Mart Center record crowd for boxing – as Ramirez, from Avenal, California, surprisingly smoked Reed.
They were both stepping up in competition and the ESPN Top Rank main event was expected to be highly competitive. But it wasn’t as Ramirez applied pressure from the outset.
Ramirez had already won the hearts of those in the region for his tireless work on behalf of many farmers and their field workers. He has lent his name and time to fighting environmentalists for regional water rights. They have repaid Ramirez by turning out in force for his fights….
He drew yet another raucous crowd and cemented his position as a mandatory world title challenger….
Ramirez pressured Reed, a southpaw, from the opening bell. He worked the body and fired his powerful left hook time and again. Reed, more of a boxer than brawler, was a willing partner, however, and engaged him.
In the second round, Ramirez continued to relentlessly attack Reed and badly hurt him. Reed went into the ropes and Ramirez continued to unload punches, eventually driving him to the mat for a knockdown.
Reed was hurt, but he beat the count and Ramirez did not relent. Reed went down again under heavy pressure, but referee Jack Reiss ruled it was caused by a slip.
When the fight resumed, Ramirez continued to assault him. With the entire crowd on its feet and cheering wildly, Ramirez dug hard body shots into Reed’s flank and was winging head shots with both hands.
Reed was not throwing punches back and was defenseless as one of Ramirez’s shots snapped Reed’s head back, causing Reiss to jump in and wave off the fight at 1 minute, 43 seconds.
Now it’s on to a vacant world title shot, likely Feb. 16…. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Jose said, “When I fight better fighters, it brings the best out. Most people underestimate my speed and defense, but they don’t understand it until they’re in front of me. I showed tonight what I mean by that.
“I was just so focused on Mike Reed. I was more than ready for him. I feel so excited. Now I can think about the title fight, but first I’m going to spend time with my family and my little boy. I’m going to enjoy the holidays, and then I’ll get back in the gym.”
In an earlier interview, Jose said, “Freddie Roach has been my head coach for my last 10 fights, but he was also in my corner for my first fight. I’ve always worked with Freddie, but I had another coach and Freddie helped us – every time I needed sparring, I had an open door at the Wild Card Boxing Club. After a while, I decided to just make the full transition from where I was at to L.A.
“I met Freddie at the 2011 U.S. Nationals and I started working with him before the Olympics – it was when they invited Freddie to work with the Olympic team at the Olympic Training Center. He worked with us for a few weeks in Colorado Springs. After everybody would leave, me and him would stay to do extra work. He always liked the way I fought and the dedication I put in the gym. Some of the other coaches would get jealous about the extra time he would spend with me.
“I’ve never used a nickname. I just keep it simple.”