Jose Ramirez didn’t hesitate when he was asked to identify his worst professional performance.
“Against Jose Zepeda, I would say,” Ramirez told host Dan Rafael as part of and episode of “Stars And Champions,” which aired on Impact Network.
Rafael, a BoxingScene.com contributor and former ESPN.com writer, then asked Ramirez if he would give Zepeda a rematch.
“I definitely would,” Ramirez replied.
Zepeda appears deserving of a second shot at Ramirez based on the outcome of their 140-pound title fight 15 months ago near Ramirez’s hometown. Though a big underdog, the unheralded Zepeda pushed Ramirez in that 12-round fight at Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
Ramirez, of nearby Avenal, California, defeated Zepeda by majority decision.
Judges Chris Tellez (116-112) and Glenn Trowbridge (115-113) credited Ramirez with winning eight and seven rounds, respectively. Judge Rey Danesco scored their highly competitive contest a draw (114-114).
The 27-year-old Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) became a unified 140-pound champion in his following fight by knocking out previously unbeaten Maurice Hooker in the sixth round of their title unification clash last July 27 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. Ramirez added the WBO junior welterweight belt to his WBC crown by defeating Dallas’ Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs).
Ramirez told Rafael that he considers his victory over Hooker the best performance of his seven-year pro career.
Ramirez will make a mandated defense of his WBC super lightweight title against Ukraine’s Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) sometime in July. The Ramirez-Postol fight already has been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 31-year-old Zepeda (31-2, 25 KOs, 1 NC), of La Puente, California, defeated former junior lightweight and lightweight champion Jose Pedraza in his last fight. Zepeda soundly out-pointed Puerto Rico’s Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs) in their 10-rounder on the Tyson Fury-Otto Wallin undercard September 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Zepeda is expected to face former IBF junior welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk (20-1, 13 KOs) in his next fight. ESPN will televise the Zepeda-Baranchyk bout as the main event of a July 7 telecast from MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.