By Steve Kim
While technically the fight between Artur Beterbiev and Enrico Koelling for the vacant IBF light heavyweight title is the main event on Saturday night from the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California, it's Jose Ramirez's bout against Mike Reed that is the one that sold tickets for this card that will be nationally televised on ESPN.
The past few years Ramirez has been developed into a legitimate ticket seller in his home region, drawing over 10,000 fans at the Save Mart Arena, which is the basketball home of the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Another sizable throng of around 14,000 is expected for this card. And if Ramirez can defeat Reed he'll be in line for a junior welterweight title shot. If he should ever win a belt and defend it a few times, he could then start headlining in even larger venues.
The World Boxing Council has already ordered Ramirez to face Amir Imam for the vacant WBC world title, which is going to be vacant with Terence Crawford moving up to the welterweight division.
Rick Mirigian, who has marketed and promoted Ramirez since he began his pro career after he represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics has big aspirations - putting a fight at Bulldog Stadium, Fresno State's football venue.
"If he becomes a world champion here, things keep progressing, I'll get in a stadium and fill it," he told BoxingScene.com. "I've already got permission to use it. It's not that far-fetched of an idea anymore. But I do think a few years from now, even two years if Jose wins and defends a world title, grabs another one. I'll approach it and I'll definitely try."
Ramirez, who has set up a scholarship fund for Fresno St. for migrant field workers recently was introduced at a game.
"The community is behind him, the school's behind him," said Mirigian.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com