Jose Ramirez Out For Remainder Of 2019 After Surgery

Plans for unified WBC and WBO junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez won't be boxing for the remainder of the year after he revealed that he had surgery for an injured left hand.

Ramirez broke the news on social media and revealed he had surgery two weeks after his win against Maurice Hooker on DAZN to unify the two 140-pound world titles in late July. With a recovery timetable of six to eight weeks following an early August surgery, Ramirez could theoretically return in December, but that month is normally a dead month in boxing on the western side of the world. With Top Rank already putting all its chips on the annual December Madison Square Garden show and a main event of Terence Crawford vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas potentially set, there's no room for Ramirez's first fight.

"Had surgery two weeks after my July 27th fight. I can't use [my left hand] until 6-8 weeks post-surgery. I could be back in the ring in December, however due to no dates available that month, we will be back in the ring early 2020. I just need my hand to heal and I'll give anybody a rung for their money," Ramirez said, slightly edited for clarity.

If one were to give Ramirez enough time to recover and also map out the early 2020 Top Rank schedule, it's possible that Ramirez could return to the ring the weekend of the Super Bowl, which would be either January 31 or February 1. What's going to be interesting is Ramirez's opponent in his first fight back.

Ramirez currently has a mandatory challenger for each of his two world titles with both looking to be the first to have an opportunity to face Ramirez. The WBC mandatory is Viktor Postol while the WBO mandatory is Jack Catterall.

Regardless of who will be Ramirez's first opponent back, he will have to go through the two of them before moving forward with a potential superfight against the winner of the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament. That fight will have WBA champion Regis Prograis take on IBF champion Josh Taylor.

Naturally, the bigger fight here in the United States would be Ramirez vs. Prograis, especially given the history between the two and the fact that fight has been in the making since early 2018. A fight between Ramirez and the WBSS winner would crown the first undisputed 140-pound champion since Terence Crawford accomplished it in 2017 when he knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round in Omaha, Nebraska.

But the news of Ramirez's surgery and unavailability to fight for the remainder of 2019, the absolute best case scenario for Ramirez's 2020 would be the following: a fight against either Postol or Catterall next February, a fight in the summer against whomever Ramirez didn't fight in February and then a fight against the WBSS winner late in the fall or early winter.

The problem with that is that there could also be the possibility of the WBSS winner dealing with his mandatories after unifying the WBA and IBF titles. On the WBA side, there is no mandatory, but Alberto Puello holds the interim title while Mario Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov will fight for the "Regular" title on September 28. Yves Ulysse Jr. is also the WBA Gold champion and even though that's not a guarantee for a world title fight anytime soon, it more or less makes him a wild card.

For the IBF, the top two-ranked fighters are Apinan Khongsong and Subriel Matias and although the IBF has yet to acknowledge a fight has been ordered for Khongsong against its world champion. However, given the IBF's history of being very strict when it comes to enforcing mandatory fights, things could get sticky as far as an undisputed title fight is concerned.

From The Web