Save Mart Arena, Fresno - In a showdown between undefeated junior welterweight contenders, Jose Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs) blasted out Mike Reed (23-1, 12 KOs) in two rounds. A crowd of 14,000 came out to support Ramirez, who is one of the hottest ticket sellers in the West Coast.
Ramirez will now face Amir Imam for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title. The title became vacant after Terence Crawford announced that he was moving up to the welterweight limit of 147-pounds.
The World Boxing Council announced at their recent convention, that Ramirez and Imam would have to fight each other for the title. Imam was in action on the undercard and picked up a quick TKO win.
Ramirez was letting his hands go from the jump, with his punches targeting the body of Reed. There was also good work by Reed in the early going, and he was showing his speed and landing decent counters.
In the second, Ramirez really let his hands go after stunning Reed and sent him down to the mat. Reed made it up, but he was being demolished against the ropes by Ramirez and not throwing anything back - which forced the referee to jump in and wave off the fight.
Also on the card, the vacant IBF light heavyweight world title was captured by Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs), who nearly went the distance, but scored two knockdowns in the twelfth and final round to stop Enrico Koelling (23-2, 6 KOs)
The fight was originally set as a world title eliminator. But it was changed after the belt became vacant, after Andre Ward announced his retirement a few months ago.
Beterbiev is currently in a legal battle with promoter Yvon Michel of GYM in Canada. If he's able to break his promotional contract, Beterbiev is expected to sign with Top Rank.
As part of the undercard, Imam (21-1, 18KOs) stopped Johnny Garcia (19-6-1) in four rounds.
Imam dominated the fight and dropped Garcia in the fourth round. The referee felt Garcia had taken too much damage during the four rounds and stopped the fight before the start of the fight.
This was Imam's third win and third stoppage in a row, since suffering an upset stoppage loss to Adrian Granados in November 2015. The unexpected loss was a huge setback, because at the time of that loss Imam was the WBC's mandatory challenger to then champion Viktor Postol.