LAS VEGAS – Jose Ramirez was an unfulfilled fighter when he left Las Vegas late last August.
The unbeaten WBC/WBO 140-pound champion got past mandatory challenger Viktor Postol, yet Ramirez wasn’t the least bit pleased with his performance. Ramirez realizes he is capable of much more than he showed versus Ukraine’s Postol, who lost a 12-round majority decision to the 2012 U.S. Olympian on August 29 at MGM Grand Conference Center.
In hindsight, Ramirez can’t help but think that training three times for the Postol fight impacted how he performed against the former WBC champion.
Ramirez-Postol was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic – first from last February 1 to May 9, and then from May 9 to August 29. Ramirez and Postol completed full training camps prior to the first postponement and approximately half of their camps before the second delay.
“Everyone trains different,” Ramirez, who’ll box Josh Taylor on Saturday night, told BoxingScene.com. “The older you get, you start monitoring your training to where there’s more recovery. But the way I am, the way I train, I train at a hundred miles an hour every single day. So, when you put your body through, you know, that pace and that intensity for so long, then obviously it hurts your body more than what it helps. And mentally, I was exhausted. So, when I went home after the fight, even though Postol was never a concern in the fight, I felt like the fight was very underwhelming. The rounds went by quick. I don’t remember too much action happening.
“But when I left for back home, I left with an itch, saying, ‘There’s so much more I’ve gotta show.’ I wasn’t satisfied at all. I left hungry. So, it took me some time to reset. I enjoyed my family, I enjoyed my blessings. But for this camp, I was anxious and motivated to start training and to go through the grind and no excuses. And I’m ready for May 22nd.”
Judge Dave Moretti scored Ramirez-Postol a draw (114-114), but judges Tim Cheatham (115-113) and Steve Weisfeld (116-112) scored their 12-rounder for Ramirez.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), of Avenal, California, and Postol (31-3, 12 KOs) initially were supposed to fight February 1, 2020, at Mission Hills Resort Haikou in Haikou, China.
Their fight was pushed back indefinitely January 23, 2020, the day after Postol arrived in Haikou. Ramirez hadn’t flown from Los Angeles to Haikou by the time of the first postponement.
Their mandated match was rescheduled for last May 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, but it was delayed 3½ more months.
Training for his full title unification fight with Scotland’s Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), which ESPN will televise from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (8 p.m. EDT), has gone much smoother for Ramirez.
“You know, I’ve been enjoying myself in this training camp,” Ramirez said. “I’ve been so focused. I’ve been so motivated, and it’s gone by so fast. A lot of that has to do with it’s been a very busy camp. We’ve put in a lot of great work and again, I’ve been enjoying myself. I’m happy and I’m honored to be part of a fight like this. I’m definitely enjoying the process and I’ve been pushing myself like no other training camp.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.