By Ryan Burton
2012 US Olympian Jose Ramirez (22-0) captured his first world championship in March when he defeated Amir Imam via unanimous decision in a bout for the vacant WBC super lightweight title.
Next up for the 25-year-old is the experienced Danny O'Connor (30-3) who has won four fights in a row since suffering a vicious knockout loss against Gabriel Bracero in 2015.
The fight will headline an ESPN card on July 7th.
While O'Connor may not have the hype around him that the former blue chip prospect Imam had, Ramirez is not taking him lightly.
"He seems like he is a veteran fighter. He seems like a tough fighter that can take some punches and can continue fighting. I am just getting myself ready to fight a very good Danny O'Connor. I think that moving forward in my career I have even more of statement to make. I am pushing myself even harder in training and I am more mentally and physically strong now than ever," explained Ramirez.
The fight takes place at the Save Mart Arena which is nearby his hometown of Avenal in Central California. Ramirez routinely draws big crowds in the area and the fight is expected to be close to a sellout by the time fight night rolls around.
Ramirez has always enjoyed fighting at home but admits that this fight means a lot more because he will be entering the ring a world champion.
"It is quite an honor for me to fight for my first world title defense in front of my biggest fans and closest family members and friends. That is a beautiful thing to be able to do and showcase world championship fights here in Central California," Ramirez said.
Former heavyweight title challenger Andy Ruiz (30-1), welterweight contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas (19-0), and lightweight Andy Vences (20-0-1) highlight the undercard along with young prospects Gabriel Flores Jr, Joseph Adorno and Bryan Lua.
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