By Miguel Rivera
There was a purse bid scheduled for Friday, but a deal was reached for a showdown between junior welterweight Jose Ramírez and Amir Imam.
The two boxers will battle for the vacant junior welterweight world title of the World Boxing Council. The belt became vacant when Terence Crawford moved up to the welterweight limit of 147-pounds. Crawford will challenge WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn in April.
The sanctioning body advised ESPN Deportes that Top Rank informed them that Ramirez vs. Imam will indeed go down on March 17 at the Theater of Madison Square Garden.
As part of that card, there are expected the performance from fighters like Michael Conlan, Christopher 'Pitufo' Diaz and Felix 'Diamond' Verdejo. The card will be televised by ESPN but the order of the bouts is still unknown.
Mauricio Sulaimán, head of the green and gold organization based in Mexico City, revealed that on Thursday night he was informed by the promoters that a purse bid was no longer necessary as they had reached a deal for the March fight. Imam is promoted by Don King and Ramirez by Top Rank.
Ramírez, one of Top Rank's most promising prospects, is a huge draw in the Central Valley of California, where he fills arenas with as many as 10,000 fans. Ramirez, a 2012 Olympian, is trained by Freddie Roach.
In his last fight, Ramirez demolished previously undefeated Mike Reed in two rounds, while Imam picked up a stay busy win on the undercard to build their future match.
Ramirez has a professional record of 21-0 with 16 knockouts, while Amir, who is 21-1 and 18 knockouts, arriving to the contest on a three-game winning streak after unexpectedly losing his undefeated record at the hands of Adrián Granados in November 2015.
Despite the loss to the tough as nails Granados, Imam is considered to be by many experts as by far being the toughest test for the career of Ramirez.