All the pieces are in place for Jose Ramirez’s hometown title shot.
The super lightweight boxer from Avenal made his toughest pro test look surprisingly easy Saturday night, remaining undefeated while handing Mike Reed his first loss with a second-round TKO before 13,838 raucous fight fans at Save Mart Center.
Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs) staggered his opponent with body shots, knocked him to the canvas, then continued the onslaught after Reed (23-1, 12 KOs) climbed to his feet before referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout at 1:43 of Round 2.
“I had a job to do when I came into the ring and I did my business,” Ramirez said. “I never considered this fight a risk. I considered it more of a confidence booster.”
Ramirez is now slated to fight for his first world title, the WBC super lightweight belt, on Feb. 16 against Amir Amam of Albany, N.Y. That fight will also take place at the Fresno arena.
Earlier, before most of the crowd arrived for the card’s main event, Amam improved to 20-1 (17 KOs) after Johnny Garcia failed to answer the bell for the fifth round.
“Iman is a step up from tonight, but we’re ready to take him on and to fight for the title,” said Freddie Roach, Ramirez’s trainer.
In the co-main, Russian Arthur Beterbiev and German Enrico Koelling engaged in 11½ sluggish rounds until Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs) dropped Koelling twice to the canvas in the 12th to score a TKO and claim the vacant IBF light heavyweight title.
The hardest punch of the night was a left hook landed by Alex Saucedo (26-0, 16 KOs) to the chin of Gustavo Vittori to score a third-round knockout and claim the WBO Latino junior welterweight world title. The 22-year-old Saucedo is touted as a potential future opponent of Ramirez.
Check back at www.fresnobee.com/sports for more on the bout and the Fight for Water 7 card.