Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Zepeda: Stats & Stakes

by Cliff Rold

Genuine regional attractions don’t come by the dozens in the current boxing landscape. Top Rank has done a fine job guiding 2012 Olympian Jose Ramirez into being one in the Central Valley of California. Whether he can further transform in a genuine national or global superstar remains to be seen.

He makes the kind of fights that can get him there.

So far, all Ramirez has done is win but the violence in his fights is a bit of an insurance policy against defeats when they come. Given his age, the trick will be threading the needle against defeat until the insurmountable pays best.

Jose Zepeda is the kind of challenger who will make that process fun. ESPN (Sunday, 7 PM EST) has the best main event of the weekend on paper because this should be a real fight. Ramirez has stepped up his opposition in his last two fights and Zepeda sits right near the level of foes Amir Imam and Antonio Orozco. Both those wins were impressive for the maturing Ramirez but neither were easy.

This probably won’t be either.

ramirez-zepeda (2)_1

Let’s get into it.

Stats and Stakes

Jose Ramirez

Age: 26

Title: WBC super lightweight (2018-Present, 1 Defense)

Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’10

Weight: TBA

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Avenal, California

Record: 23-0, 16 KO

Press Rankings: #1 (Boxing Monthly), #2 (ESPN), #3 (TBRB, Ring), #6 (BoxRec)

Record in Major Title Fights: 2-0

Last Five Opponents: 109-9-1 (.920)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: None


Jose Zepeda

Age: 29

Title: None

Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’8

Weight: TBA

Stance: Southpaw

Hails from: La Puente, California

Record: 30-1, 25 KO, 1 KOBY

Press Rankings: #10 (Boxing Monthly, BoxRec)

Record in Major Title Fights: 0-1, 1 KOBY

Last Five Opponents: 113-23-3 (.824)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: TKO by 2 Terry Flanagan

The Case for Ramirez: Ramirez has shown real development in his last two fights. Both fights were competitive but they were also decisive in Ramirez’s favor. The long limbed Ramirez is big for his division and has shown ability at range and inside. He’s an excellent body puncher and brings the right hand over the top with accuracy and snap. He’s not been a consistent, lights out puncher but his hands are heavy and he retains a knockout threat. While he’s attacking at close quarters, he keeps his chin tucked and guards to the body well. He’s more vulnerable from the outside but makes up for some of that with a long, stiff jab. Combining all those elements, Ramirez is a danger to physically overwhelm most of a division he’s likely to outgrow sooner than later.

The Case for Zepeda: Zepeda is patient, crafty, and dangerous enough to contain a more physical opponent. He will have some advantages defensively if he can keep Ramirez from setting himself for prolonged exchanges on the inside. Zepeda has good feet and slides away from opponents well, using southpaw angles to keep foes off balance. If Zepeda can frustrate Ramirez early, make him waste shots and think, his countering ability could pile up points and make rounds tough to score. His sneaky straight left to the body could also be a weapon in slowing the attacks of Ramirez if he can time it off the jab. While he’s been stopped once, it was on the basis of a bum shoulder so his chin, to date, has stood up.  

The Pick: Zepeda has fought the bulk of his career at Jr. welterweight even if his previous title shot came a division lower. His level of opposition isn’t far removed from Ramirez’s and, on paper, this looks like a close fight. Working against Zepeda is Ramirez’s more consistent offensive output and the location of the fight. He’s going on to Ramirez’s turf and, in a fight that might have several close rounds where style preferences matter, the fan favorite perceived as making the fight could get some benefit of the doubt. Ultimately, there won’t be enough of those rounds to raise controversy. Ramirez will have to solve some puzzles but his body attack and physical strength will see him take over down the stretch and make this a close but fair decision by the end.    

Additional Weekend Picks

Gervonta Davis KO Hugo Ruiz

Erickson Lubin Dec Ishe Smith

Sharif Bogere Dec Javier Fortuna

Rey Vargas TKO Franklin Manzanilla

Alberto Machado TKO Andrew Cancio

Rold Picks 2019: 6-2

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback
Top Headlines
Sam Crossed Ready For Nick Kisner Clash in Hanover Parker's Manager To Wilder: Take Step-Aside, Allow Fury-Joshua Hearn: Fury Will Not Walk Joshua Down Like He Did Wilder! Vargas: I've Never Looked This Good in Camp, I'll Beat Mikey Garcia Hunter-Rakhmanov II - ShoBox Tripleheader Weights Kownacki: Division is Wide Open - I'll Show I Belong in Title Fight Yomar Alamo, Kendo Castaneda Ready For Boxeo Telemundo Clash Joseph Parker Visits The Dallas Cowboys Training Facility Regis Prograis, Maurice Hooker - Face To Face at Presser Adam Kownacki Putting in Work For Helenius Clash Josh Taylor Links Up With Ben Davison After McGuigan Split Mikey Garcia, Kal Yafai Visit FC Dallas Training Facility Joshua-Pulev Done Deal For June 20 At Tottenham, Says Hearn Carlos Castro Edges Jesus Ruiz Over Ten Rounds in Arizona Fury's Father Warns Joshua: Stay Away, Tyson Will Wreck You! Josh Taylor vs. Apinun Khongsong - May 2 at SSE Hydro, ESPN+ Regis Prograis vs. Maurice Hooker - Official For April 17, Oxon Hill Dubois Expects Fury To "Do Same Thing" in Wilder Trilogy Fight Oscar Duarte-Andres Garcia Tops Golden Boy Fight Night Card Algeria Qualifies Seven Boxers For The 2020 Olympic Games Vargas on Mikey Garcia: Two Mexicans Fighting is Always Entertaining Fury: I've Only Just Started; We're Gonna Be Putting People To Sleep! Wilder: I Wanna Go Out On My Shield; Death Is Better Than Defeat Fury-Wilder Produced Just Over 750,000 PPV Buys; Could Reach 800,000 Capetillo: Breland Did Right Thing, Fury Would Have Hurt Wilder Bad TJ Doheny is Eager To Put on a Show in Dubai Mikey Garcia: Vargas Will Be Coming For a KO Win - Me Too! Andy Ruiz: Tyson Fury Can Do Same Thing Again - And I Can Too! Roy Jones Jr. Tabs Kevin Newman To Become World Champion Reigniting Super Fly After a Breather Hearn Still Not Sure If Canelo Will Fight Saunders Or Callum Smith Robles Likes Andy Ruiz's Chances Against Luis Ortiz Joseph Parker, Shawndell Winters - Face-Off, Final Presser Julio Cesar Martinez, Jay Harris - Face-Off, Final Presser Chocolatito, Kal Yafai - Face To Face, Final Presser Mikey Garcia, Jessie Vargas - Face To Face, Final Presser Eleider Alvarez-Joe Smith Eliminator Ordered After Gilberto Ramirez Bails Subriel Matias' Promoter is Furious Over Lack of Training Whyte: Fury Slapped Deontay Wilder About Like He Was His Bitch Bellew: If That Fury Showed Up - I Wouldn't Have Stood a Chance
Latest Forum Threads