Jose Ramirez will make his first boxing title defense May 9 at Selland Arena, it was announced Thursday.
The Avenal product and 2012 U.S. Olympian will put his North American Boxing Federation junior welterweight title on the line against an opponent to be named in a scheduled eight-round bout. It will be televised on UniMas as part of Solo Boxeo Tecate. Tickets go on sale Feb. 3.
Ramirez, 13-0 with 10 knockouts, won the title Oct. 25 with a first-round knockout against David Rodela at Selland, where he has fought twice with two KOs. Ramirez’s May 9 fight will be his fourth in the central San Joaquin Valley since turning pro in 2012. His agent/promoter, Rick Mirigian, said the goal is to have showcase Ramirez in “three huge fights” in the Valley.
Ramirez said he’ll bring some new techniques he has learned from trainer Freddie Roach at Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, “like cutting off the ring. Make sure I have good balance. I’ve been working on my offense.”
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Ramirez said he’s hoping to fight in March, too, but Top Rank boss Bob Arum said the plan is to limit Ramirez to four fights in 2015.
Arum sees progress in Pacquiao-Mayweather potential fight
Arum said he was surprised to see Manny Pacquiao attending a Miami Heat game Tuesday night — and that Pacquiao was equally surprised to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the game.
Pacquiao, who fights for Top Rank, was in Miami serving as a judge at the Miss Universe pageant Sunday night. Arum said, “he was supposed to leave that afternoon, but because of the snowstorm in the East. He had to wait until (Wednesday) to fly out.”
Pacquiao is a player-coach in the Philippine Basketball Association and is close friends with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Mayweather is a regular at Heat games.
Their appearance at the same game, and a brief halftime chat, fueled the talk about a long-awaited showdown between the two welterweight champions. May 2 is a rumored date.
Arum added to the talk: “We’re making progress on the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, so hopefully that takes place.”
Arum said he wasn’t bothered that Pacquiao and Mayweather, who split with Top Rank in 2006, chatted and exchanged phone numbers. “Manny kept giving me updates,” Arum said. “They had a good conversation and hopefully that leads to finalizing the big fight.”