Jose Ramirez Captures 140 Pound World Title Defeating Amir Imam


NEW YORK — In the 2000th matchup involving a World Boxing Council (WBC) world championship, Central California’s Jose Ramirez caputured his first world title by fighting on the inside with his power punches against Amir Imam at the Mecca of Boxing in Madison Square Garden.

The opening round had Imam, 27, controlling the first three minutes of the contest with his jab work and caught Ramirez with a head-tilting  right uppercut towards the final seconds. Ramirez, a resident of Avenal, California, came back out in the second and found some success by keeping Imam on his back foot and connecting with some shots against the ropes. However, Imam (21-2, 18 KOs) re-grouped in the fourth and fifth rounds, and began slipping Ramirez’s shots by utilizing the shoulder roll and head movement.

At the 1:40 point of the sixth round, Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs) found some success with an overhand right that momentarily stunned Imam. The 25-year-old Ramirez then stepped on the gas pedal in hopes of capitalizing on Imam’s imbalanced equilibrium, but Imam kept his jab sharp and was able to utilize it enough to finish the round to a point where he [Imam] landed a punch after the ending bell.

Fighting what seemed to be mostly power punches that Ramirez was throwing, Imam snapped his head back three consecutive times with the jab. At this point in the bout, Ramirez was displaying signs of fatigue as he began breathing through his mouth, but was still going forward and staying the aggressor. In a tick-for-tack instance, Ramirez connected with a left hook to Imam’s body after the bell, which was most likely revenge for Imam’s punch from a few rounds earlier.

In round ten, Ramirez, in front of his mother who traveled on a plane for the first time since receiving her permanent residence status in the United States, created some swelling on Imam’s left eye as a result of multiple combinations. While Imam was heavily out-landing Ramirez in the jab category, Ramirez found himself on the opposite end of the spectrum by maintaining a higher output in the power punch category. Knowing this and seeing the visual damage on Imam’s face, Ramirez continued to stalk and finished the fight with the barrage of his power combinations that Imam could not protect himself from.

As announcer Michael Buffer announced the scores, 120-108, 117-11 and 115-113 blared through the speakers in a hard-fought win for Ramirez — who now holds a major world title within the 140 pound division. The 120-108 scorecard stirred up some controversy following the bout, as Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who trains Ramirez, expressed his concern with some of the judges sitting ringside and called for further review.

“Two judges need to be investigated and one judge was being honest,” Roach said. “Jose won every single round.”

Nevertheless, Ramirez received the nod in defeating a slick, technical fighter in Imam. With his Top Rank stablemate Terence Crawford relinquishing his junior welterweight unified world titles and moving up to the 147 classification in the future against WBO world title holder Jeff Horn, Ramirez has a chance to capture all the other belts himself. This is assuming no issues between each respective promotional companies and advisors. A fight with the IBF world champion Mikey Garcia would be a solid matchup, which would likely sell well in the Los Angeles area. However, Ramirez is not looking toward anything at this point, and made some statements following his win on a issue that his close to his and his family’s heart.

“This is a dream come true for me,” Ramirez said with the WBC world title around his shoulder. “I dedicate this fight to all the immigrants. I fight for them.”

About Albert Baker

Writer/Producer/Director of the Under the Hand Wraps documentary series and owner of Albert Baker is currently based in Fresno, California and has been covering boxing since 2014.

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