The first significant boxing match postponed due to the spread of COVID-19 has been delayed again now that it has become a worldwide pandemic.
Two months after it first was pushed back, the Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol fight for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO 140-pound titles was delayed a second time Tuesday. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., the promoter of the Ramirez-Postol card, has postponed it indefinitely, this time because coronavirus has caused so much uncertainty in the United States.
“I feel terribly for Jose and Viktor, who have entered two training camps, only to see the fight postponed both times,” Arum said. “They are consummate professionals, and they will give the great Fresno fans a memorable fight whenever it occurs. We owe it to Jose and Viktor to make this fight happen as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) was scheduled to make a mandatory defense of his WBC super lightweight title versus Ukraine’s Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) on May 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, near Ramirez’s hometown of Avenal. ESPN was supposed to televise the Ramirez-Postol bout as the main event of a doubleheader that also would’ve included a 10-round, 140-pound bout between Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs) and Javier Molina (22-2, 9 KOs), of Norwalk, California.
Initially, Ramirez and Postol were slated to square off February 1 at Mission Hills Resort Haikou in Haikou, China. Top Rank postponed that event January 23 as coronavirus spread quickly throughout China.
Postol and members of his team already had arrived in China by the time that event was postponed. Ramirez hadn’t left California for China when that decision was made.
Six weeks later, Top Rank announced that the Ramirez-Postol show would take place May 9 and had been moved from China to central California.
Though May 9 remains more than a month away, this marks the second time within the first three months of this year that Ramirez and Postol have trained for a 12-round title fight that was postponed.
Ramirez, 27, has been preparing at trainer Robert Garcia’s gym in Riverside, California. Postol, 36, has been getting ready at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
Whenever they finally fight, Ramirez and Postol both will end long layoffs.
Postol hasn’t boxed since the former WBC super lightweight champ defeated France’s Mohamed Mimoune (22-4, 3 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder April 27 in Las Vegas. Ramirez last competed July 27, when he stopped Dallas’ Maurice Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KOs) in the sixth round of their 140-pound title unification fight in Arlington, Texas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.