Ramirez: Fans win when promoters work together for big fights

Screen Shot 2019 06 11 at 3.55.55 AM  2 .0 - Ramirez: Fans win when promoters work together for big fights

Jose Ramirez feels thankful to get a unification bout with Maurice Hooker.

WBC 140-pound titleholder Jose Ramirez is set to cross promotional and network lines for a fight with WBO titleholder Maurice Hooker on July 27. Ramirez, a Top Rank/ESPN fighter, will face Hooker in Texas, with DAZN airing the unification bout.

Ramirez (24-0, 16 KO) discussed taking the fight, getting a deal done, and more.

On taking the fight with Maurice Hooker

“It’s time to push myself as a fighter. There’s a lot of questions about who’s the top 140-pounder, and it’s time to face the other world champions. Maurice Hooker is a great 140-pound world champion. It’s fights like this that are going to make me push myself and bring the best out of me, being very motivated to continue fighting and be in the sport of boxing that I respect and love so much. I’m happy, it’s a blessing for me to be here.

“I’m very fortunate that my promoter Bob Arum, my manager Rick Mirigian, and the whole Top Rank family allowed me to come to his territory, to his network and promotion with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing and Roc Nation. I’m happy to be able to showcase my talent to a whole different crowd. It’s very important for people to start getting to know me, who I am, with a closer look rather than just watching me on TV or hearing things.”

On Maurice Hooker and making the fight happen

“Maurice Hooker is a very humble champion, very respectful. I’ve always been the type of guy who’s been very respectful, too, until the first bell rings, then it’s all action. I’m happy the promotions are working with each other to make these fights happen.

“The fans are winning because they get to see spectacular fights from two great champions who both stepped up to the plate. We both wanted this fight, and it made it easier for the promoters to work with each other. I had to come to Texas to make the fight happen, I was ready to make that step.”

On coming to Texas for the fight

“It’s the way it played out with Eddie Hearn stepping up and working with Bob Arum, and Top Rank allowing me to go. The Top Rank family considers me part of the ESPN franchise, so it’s something where I’m very grateful that they were able to get me this opportunity to come.

“It’s just time to make it easier for the people to decide who’s the best 140-pounder. Whoever wins this fight has two belts, whoever wins the [World Boxing Super Series] tournament has two belts.”

On pressure to deliver in Texas for Latino fans

“The type of guy I am is — I’m the type of fighter, I always push myself, from the first bell to the last bell. I’m a very active fighter, all I can do is give it my best. I’m very grateful to be fighting on a different platform, at a different venue, for a different crowd. I hope the Hispanics do come out. I hope everybody comes out and catches this fight, because we deserve the attention from the fans. It’s a big, important fight for both of us. We’re putting our titles on the line to give the fans a big fight.”

On the promoters working together becoming a trend

“There’s definitely politics with the networks, but I think if two fighters really want to fight, they’ll push their promoters to try to make it happen. Hopefully, me and Maurice can motivate other fighters and promoters to do the same thing. Boxing is very alive right now, around the world boxing is at its peak, and it’s not going nowhere. We’ve got big, exciting fights.”

On his future

“I’m only 26 years old, I still have a long career ahead of me. I plan to do great things in the welterweight division, even the super welterweight division as my career goes along. Since I was eight years old, my dream was to become an Olympian. I come from a very small town of Avenal, California. Avenal, the population is 6,000 people. The opportunities are very, very slim, there’s not too many open windows. Just basic jobs that pay minimum wage. For me to come this far, becoming an Olympian, a world champion, now being in a position where I can be the unified champion at 140 pounds, it’s a blessing.”

On why he’ll win on July 27

“I’m very hungry. I’m a very hungry fighter. I’m going to push myself. I believe I have a great team behind me that’s going to have me well-prepared for this fight, and I’m not going to stop until I have my hand raised up.”

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