By Ryan Burton
Jose Ramirez was supposed to defend his WBC 140 pound title for the first time this past Saturday in Fresno. However the hometown fight was cancelled when his opponent Danny O'Connor had to be rushed to the hospital prior to the weigh in with severe dehydration.
The WBC title became vacant after Terence Crawford moved up to the welterweight division after unifying all four major super lightweight titles against Julius Indongo last August.
The WBC then ordered Ramirez to face Amir Imam for the vacant title and Regis Prograis to face Viktor Postol for the interim title with both winners required to face each other.
After Ramirez defeated Imam via unanimous decision, Prograis knocked out Indongo who was a late replacement for the injured Postol.
Instead of meeting in the ring, an agreement was made where Prograis would face Juan Jose Velasco this Saturday on ESPN before entering the World Boxing Super Series super lightweight tournament provided he wins on Saturday.
Ramirez said that he didn't have any problems facing Prograis immediately or even entering the tournament himself but trusts the plan that his promoter Top Rank has in place.
"He was my mandatory and he decided to take another route, not me. He is going to the tournament. I talked to my promoter Bob Arum and asked him if I could go but he has commitments with ESPN and I am one of his fighters with a belt and I can't just go out there and fight on a different network when there is a commitment with my promoter and ESPN. My job as a fighter is just to do my job and train," explained Ramirez.
He also praised Prograis and said that he is rooting for him to win the tournament. If everything goes the way Ramirez envisions, he will be facing Prograis for all four belts after the tournament is over.
"Regis Prograis is a great fighter and he is going to go out there and hopefully he handles his business and comes out as a champion and I would be more than happy to face him. I will do my job on my side too and I will show him the same respect back by staying undefeated. Hopefully winning that (WBO) title once Alex "Cholo" Saucedo fights Mo Hooker for it - I will be more than happy to fight for it and keep those two titles and hopefully Prograis wins his two titles and then we can fight for undisputed. I know that is what he wants and what is team wants and that is what it is going to be. We do want to fight each other. How can we fight at this level and not want to fight each other?" Ramirez stated.
Ramirez is now scheduled to return to the ring September 14th in Fresno with unbeaten contender Antonio Orozco as his opponent.
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