At the age of 26, Jose is a five-year pro. The WBC super lightweight world champion, 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. He also competed in the 2011 World Championships and won several U.S. national amateur championships.
Jose is one of boxing’s rising young stars.
As a pro, he 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.
Jose was scheduled to make his first title defense against Danny O’Connor on July 7 in Fresno, but O’Connor was hospitalized for severe dehydration in an attempt to make weight, and the fight was scratched.
In his last fight on March 17 in New York, Jose won the vacant WBC super lightweight world title with a 12-round unanimous decision against Amir Imam.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Jose Ramirez was 8 years old when he began boxing, and for the next 17 years, he worked toward this one moment: to win a world title.
Mission accomplished in a fantastic action fight, as Ramirez outpointed Amir Imam by unanimous decision to win a vacant junior welterweight world title before 4,672 in the Top Rank ESPN main event at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Ramirez badly swelled Imam’s right eye and landed all kinds of hard punches throughout the fight to win by scores of 120-108, 117-111 and 115-113.
Imam was by far Ramirez’s most formidable professional opponent, but Ramirez rose to the occasion….
Both fighters came out aggressively in the first round and tested the other’s chin. Both took the shots in a close round.
Many of Ramirez’s fans made the trip from California’s Central Valley, and they began chanting “Jose! Jose!” in the third round as he and Imam exchanged punches.
Imam landed a good right uppercut that caught Ramirez’s attention in the fourth round of a very competitive fight.
Ramirez had a big sixth round when he landed two right hands that knocked Imam off-balance and appeared to rattle him. Ramirez then landed another right hand and chased after Imam when he scooted away. Imam used his legs to try to stay away for the rest of the round as he tried to collect himself.
In the seventh round, Ramirez went to his best punch, the left hook, and landed several that connected hard and backed up Imam.
They battled toe-to-toe for much of the eighth round, exchanging head and body shots, with Imam seemingly getting the better of the action. But they both took clean shots as the crowd cheered.
Ramirez had a strong 10th round, hurting Imam multiple times with his right hand and forcing him to step back and cover up. He continued the assault in the 11th round, when Imam’s right eye began to swell badly. Ramirez continued to score in the 11th round, nailing Imam with a clean right-left combination in the middle of the ring that stopped him in his tracks.
Ramirez attacked Imam in the 12th round. He was clearly going for a knockout. Imam’s swollen eye was nearly closed, and Ramirez forced him to the ropes and unloaded as Imam’s corner shouted at him to go for broke.
Ramirez’s win was also a big one for his Hall of Fame trainer, Freddie Roach, who guided Ramirez from his pro debut to a world title.
“I dedicate this fight to all the immigrants. I fight for them,” said Ramirez, whose mother, Juanita, recently received her green card and made her first trip cross-country to see the fight. [End Rafael item]
Jose is now being trained by Robert Garcia, the Boxing Writers Association of America “2012 Trainer of the Year” and a former IBF junior lightweight world champion.
Jose said, “I’ve never used a nickname. I just keep it simple.”