Story by:  Rahmon Ford


One day before the festivities in Vegas, including The Box Fan Expo and Canelo vs. Golovkin 2, a potentially explosive WBC World light welterweight (junior welterweight/super lightweight) title fight will take place.


Hometown hero Jose Ramirez, (22-0, 16 KOs) defends his belt against undefeated #3 contender Antonio Orozco (27-0, 17 KOs) on Top Rank Boxing on ESPN at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.


Ramirez is coming off of two excellent victories; one over Amir Imam for the vacant title in March, which followed a second round KO of undefeated Mike Reed.  He was scheduled to fight Danny O’Connor in July but O’Connor was hospitalized for health reasons as the cutdown in weight took a serious toll on his body.


Orozco arguably suffered his first loss in the 2015 matchup with Humberto Soto.  He bounced back with four wins against decent competition in Miguel Acosta, Abner Lopez, Keandre Gibson, and Martin Honorio.


In the fight with Honorio, Orozco got hit too much and while trainer Abel Sanchez implored him to switch styles, Orozco didn’t take heed.  It was a rematch with Honorio and I don’t expect a third fight between the two combatants.


The styles these two warriors employ should bring us can’t miss action in the main event.  This will be a much better matchup than Ramirez-O’Connor.  If you want to see action, definitely tune in.


If you want to see a sellout hometown crowd get behind their guy, this is the textbook guy to watch.  Ramirez is one of the few fighters who can draw over 12,000 fans on a regular basis.  His fights are equivalent to a Terence Crawford fighting in Omaha or a Pernell Whitaker fighting in Norfolk.


Ramirez has a pressure style where he stays on top of you and tests your will the entire fight.  See highlights of his fight with Reed below:



You see a similar style (and result) Orozco’s fight with Gibson below:





If we were to put stock in these two fighters, Ramirez’s stock is trending upwards, while Orozco’s stock is at a slight drop.


Two factors to consider:


One- Ramirez canned Freddie Roach in favor of Robert Garcia.  This will be his first fight with Garcia after Roach guided him to 22 victories without a loss.  Could this be a factor in hos the fight goes for Ramirez?


Two- Orozco has failed to make the 140 pound weight limit more than once.  In 2016, his fight against Fidel Maldonado Jr. was cancelled because he couldn’t make weight.  Then in 2017, Orozco was reportedly seven pounds over the limit, which is unforgiveable for a world class fighter.


All things considered, you have to go with Ramirez in this one.  I think the leather is going to fly as the soon to be 31 year old Orozco views this as his best (and maybe final) shot at a major world title.  The “big belts” as Paul Williams used to say.


I think this fight heats up from the start,  I see give and take from both guys.  I see vicious body punching from both combatants.  I also see a mid-round TKO scored by Ramirez to send the fans home in delight.


The referee steps in between somewhere between the 5th and 9th rounds.