Jose Ramirez will get a second chance at a first world title defense in front of his hometown fans.
Ramirez, the WBC junior welterweight champion, will make his first title defense at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California against Antonio Orozco. The fight will be televised on ESPN live on July 14, one day before Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have their highly-anticipated rematch for the unified middleweight titles.
The fight will be a Top Rank card that pits one of the company’s newest champions in Ramirez with Orozco, an undefeated contender who has had some weight issues at 140 pounds. In his last four scheduled fights, all at junior welterweight, Orozco missed weight on two of those four fights. Due to him missing weight in the past, Orozco has been somewhat inactive for the past 15 months, only fighting once. In that one fight, Orozco defeated journeyman fighter Martin Honorio by unanimous decision back in March.
It was actually weight problems that canceled Ramirez’s original first title defense date on July 7 when his opponent, Danny O’Connor, was hospitalized for severe dehydration due to his weight-cut hours before weigh-ins were set to begin. The fight against O’Connor was set to headlined a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card in Fresno, but the event moved ahead with a welterweight fight between Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Juan Carlos Abreu.
The 25-year-old Ramirez won the title back in March when he got a unanimous decision against Amir Imam at Madison Square Garden on ESPN. The title was previously vacated by former undisputed champion Terence Crawford.