Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Stats & Stakes

By Cliff Rold

Jr. welterweight might be getting fun in a hurry.

Despite the exit of champion Terence Crawford, the reload is in full effect. Mikey Garcia now has a title in class. Regis Prograis impressed last week by blitzing former unified titlist Julius Indongo.

And now we head to the Garden (Theatre) for an intriguing clash for a vacant WBC 140 lb. strap. Jose Ramirez is a ticket seller with a TV friendly style that might make him a star. Amir Imam was once viewed as a very promising rising talent who might be overlooked based on only a single loss.

This is the sort of fight where we could all be pleasantly surprised no matter the outcome.

ramirez-imam-weights (1)

Let’s get into it.

Stats and Stakes

Jose Ramirez

Age: 25

Title: None

Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’10  

Weight: 139 lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Avenal, California

Record: 21-0, 16 KO?

Press Rankings: #6 (Boxing Monthly), #8 (Ring), #10 (TBRB)

Sanctioning Body Rankings: #3 (WBC) 

Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Title Fight

Last Five Opponents: 107-24-2 (.818)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: None


Amir Imam

Titles: None

Previous Titles: None

Age: 27

Height: 5’10 ½ 

Weight: 139 ¼ lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Albany, New York

Record: 21-1, 18 KO, 1 KOBY

Press Rankings: Unrated

Sanctioning Body Rankings: #1 (WBC)

Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Title Fight 

Last Five Opponents: 106-60-5 (.626)

Current/Former World Champions Faced: None

The Case for Ramirez: While he competed at the 2012 Olympics, Jose Ramirez didn’t come out of the Games with the same expectations as someone like teammate Errol Spence. He was seen as a raw project to develop and develop he has. Ramirez presses the fight but he doesn’t do so without thought. His jab has become a smart weapon. It’s not always the quickest, but he sticks with it and can turn it over into a hook suddenly. Ramirez works the body well and, to date, has been a good finisher. In Imam he has a fighter who can match his height and he can’t afford to let Imam get comfortable in being first. That might not be easy. If the quicker Imam starts to bank some rounds, Ramirez can’t get frustrated into mistakes. Imam can punch. Ramirez can too and showed real finishing chops in his last outing against the undefeated Mike Reed. He knows Imam was down against Fidel Maldonado and stopped by Adrian Granados. Imam often fights out of the pocket and that could play to Ramirez’s advantage if he stays patient.

The Case for Imam: Imam has serious punching power and can show off good defensive technique. The difference between being a teammate of Ramirez’s at the 2012 Games was Imam’s inability to defeat Spence; his foundation is solid. With two fights in 2017, the most recent in November, inactivity shouldn’t be too big an issue. Much of Imam’s chances could come down to his mental approach. If he has shaken off the Granados loss, a fight where he took a lot of leather, he will find Ramirez hittable. Imam fights taller than Ramirez does and that could help the New Yorker get some nice leverage on his right hand. While much has been made of Imam’s vulnerability, Ramirez was on the floor against unheralded Johnny Garcia in 2015. If Ramirez starts to land will Imam go back to his lone loss and wilt under the pressure? Or does he plant his feet and find a needed career saver?

The Pick

Ramirez has, if nothing else, been developed well. His improvement in the ring the last couple years has been substantial and his cultivated ticket selling in Central California is Top Rank doing one of the things they do best. Neither guy has truly been proven yet as a professional and this fight may ultimately be seen as just a step towards proof, belt or not. Is Ramirez a local attraction who can’t make it to the big stage? Is Amir Imam able to catch as well as take? They’re all fun questions and this should be a fun fight. If both men come off the floor, it won’t be a surprise. The feeling here is Ramirez is a little more durable in a fight where what happens at close quarters should tell the tale. The pick is Ramirez in a grinding, physical affair. 

Rold Picks 2018: 5-4

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by steeve steel on 03-17-2018

Going with Iman by KO... if he can stop posing between combos and be disciplined.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Canelo-Fielding Contracts: Rehydration Clause, 2nd-Day Weigh-In Video: Rocky Fielding Discusses Showdown With Canelo Video: Canelo Talks Fielding Fight at 168, MSG, DAZN, More Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Canelo/DAZN, Joshua, DAZN Future DAZN Exec: De La Hoya The Most Important Figure in PPV History Badou Jack's Ripper Nutrition is Expanding Out To Asian Market Photos: Canelo, Golden Boy Announce Major Deal With DAZN Photos: Canelo, Rocky Fielding - Go Face To Face in NYC Andrey Fedosov Now Looking For Much Bigger Fights Golden Boy Prez: We Signed With The Leader of Sports Streaming! Josh Taylor: There is No Way That Anyone Beats Me at The Hydro Hearn: Canelo/DAZN Deal Will End PPV Boxing In the United States Dorticos on Masternak: I See a Man With KO Written on His Face Dogboe vs. Navarrete Set Down For Lomachenko-Pedraza Manny Pacquiao: Adrien Broner Fight is Next, January 12 or 19 Mayweather Believes He Can Get $200M Guarantee For Khabib Scott Harrison Begins His Comeback on December 8 Canelo, Oscar De La Hoya, DAZN Discuss New Mega-Deal Jessie Vargas Hopes To Return To The Ring By March Tevin Farmer: The Gervonta Davis Fight Won't Make Or Break Me Luis Ortiz Manager on Possible Hearn Deal, Status of Return Kautondokwa Warns: Andrade is Facing a Real Executioner! Sugar Ray Leonard: Joshua-Wilder is a Fight Made in Heaven Bradley Skeete Reacts To Talk of Gary Corcoran Clash Canelo's Deal With DAZN is 11 Fights, $365 Million Guarantee Iain Butcher vs. Ukashir Farooq For British Title on Nov. 30 Arum: Nobody Sees Al Haymon or Talks To Him - It's Not Normal! Dereck Chisora Inks Management Deal With David Haye Exciting Card Scheduled for the WBO Convention in Panama Farmer: I'm Still Learning on The Job Every Day, It's Just Scary Canelo: Mayweather Should Return The Right Way - Fight Me! Jason Moloney Confident of Shocking Emmanuel Rodriguez Canelo: I'm Taking a Big Risk Entering Fielding's Comfort Zone Juan Heraldez-Maynard Allison Set For Mayweather Card, 10/27 Photos: Canelo, Rocky Fielding - Size Each Other Up in NYC Marcus Browne Arrested, 3rd Domestic Incident Since December Miguel Berchelt vs. Miguel Roman - Undercard Revealed Wilder Manager To Hearn: After Fury Fight, We Can Talk Joshua DAZN To Stream Canelo-Fielding Card, Future Canelo Fights Dmitry Bivol: I Want To Unify All Four Belts Like Usyk Did

Latest Active Forum Threads