By Keith Idec
Antonio Orozco made weight Thursday.
That was anything but a forgone conclusion before the undefeated contender stepped on the California State Athletic Commission’s scale in Fresno, California, for his super lightweight title fight against Jose Ramirez. No boxer in the sport over the past two years has had more documented difficulty making weight than Orozco, who was so heavy and depleted prior to two of his canceled fights since December 2016 that he didn’t even make it to the scale to weigh in.
The San Diego native had no such difficulty Thursday, when he officially weighed 139¼ pounds for his 12-round, 140-pound title fight versus Ramirez on Friday night at Save Mart Center in Fresno. Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs), who weighed in at 138¼ pounds Thursday, will make his first defense of the WBC super lightweight title in the main event of an ESPN telecast set to begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Ramirez was supposed to make his first championship defense against Danny O’Connor on July 7 at Save Mart Center. O’Connor was hospitalized the day before he was supposed to weigh in due to severe dehydration and their fight was canceled.
O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs), a southpaw from Framingham, Massachusetts, was so dehydrated from struggling to make weight that he was temporarily placed in the intensive care unit at an area hospital.
Promoter Bob Arum’s matchmakers understandably couldn’t find a replacement for O’Connor on such short notice. That forced Ramirez, of nearby Avenal, California, to watch a card that was built entirely around him from a ringside seat.
The Ramirez-O’Connor fiasco is what made Orozco (27-0, 17 KOs) such an unusual choice for Friday’s fight.
He, too, was treated for severe dehydration the day he was supposed to weigh-in for a December 2016 fight against Fidel Maldonado Jr. in Indio, California. Orozco considered moving up to the welterweight limit of 147 pounds after that bout was canceled, but he decided to remain at 140 pounds.
Nine months after the Maldonado match was canceled, Orozco was way overweight for another bout that had to be scrapped. Orozco reportedly was seven pounds overweight the day he was supposed to weigh in for an ill-fated, 140-pound fight against Roberto Ortiz last September 23 in Inglewood, California.
Orozco made the 140-pound limit for his two bouts between those two canceled contests and won both of those fights convincingly.
He defeated KeAndre Gibson by fourth-round technical knockout in the first of those two fights in April 2017. Orozco then beat Martin Honorio by unanimous decision in his most recent fight, March 16 in Los Angeles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.