By Jake Donovan
Top Rank Inc. won the rights to host the super bantamweight title fight between Rico Ramos and Guillermo Rigondeaux after winning a purse bid held Monday morning in Panama.
The winning - and only - bid of $126,000 was placed by Carl Moretti, the Vice President of Top Rank who represented the Vegas-based company in attendance. No other promoter attended the meeting or submitted the bid.
Top Rank holds the American promotional rights to Rigondeaux (8-0, 6KO), a two-time Olympic Gold medalist who defected from his native Cuba in 2007. The southpaw has been moved at a brisk pace since turning pro in 2009, facing Ricardo Cordoba for an interim title belt in just his seventh pro fight.
The win took place on the undercard of Antonio Margarito’s most recent fight, a one-sided drubbing at the hands of Manny Pacquiao last November. Plans called for his next step up in class to serve to come against Ramos as the co-feature for Margarito’s rematch with Miguel Cotto on December 3 at Madison Square Garden.
However, the fight was removed from the show after Ramos’ handlers – promoter Goossen Tutor and manager Al Haymon - priced themselves out. The claim was that they were mistakenly under the impression that their fighter was to earn a purse of $225,000, which was in fact the entire budget allotted to the fight.
Such tactics are not unique in the sport, but the gamble miserably backfired. Ramos (20-0, 11KO) now stands to make almost twice as less than he would have for the December 3 date, and the fight would’ve undoubtedly benefited from much greater exposure given the main event and the hype surrounding it.
The 24-year old Ramos entered the title fray this past July when he scored a come-from-behind knockout of visiting Akifumi Shimoda. Ramos was way down on all three scorecards when he knocked out the defending titlist in the seventh-round of their HBO-televised bout in Atlantic City to claim the “full” version of the WBA super bantamweight belt.
Ramos stands to make just under $70,000, as per the terms of a 55/45 split that comes with WBA fights between a “full” champion and “interim” titlist. Rigondeaux’ cut comes at slighly more than $56,000 as a result.
No date or venue has been announced for the rescheduled super bantamweight fight.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected] .