After Jose Ramirez won the vacant WBC super lightweight title back in March, a showdown against interim champion Regis Prograis seemed inevitable, but Ramirez's camp has decided to go in another direction.
Instead of fighting Prograis, Ramirez will defend his title on a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on July 7 against Danny O'Connor. The fight, which will be Ramirez's first world title defense, will take place in Fresno, California. Todd duBoef, Ramirez’s promoter at Top Rank, told ESPN that both camps for Ramirez and Prograis agreed to forgo the fight and to have both fighters build up the potential showdown for 2019.
"It's a great fight now. We want it to be a great event as well. It's back-to-back weekends, back-to-back hometowns. The scenario we like is two young guys building momentum and using the upcoming fights to showcase themselves and make their fight much bigger. We want it to be more than just a great fight," duBoef said.
Prograis will now fight in another Top Rank Boxing card on July 14 and if he emerges victorious, he will then fight in the World Boxing Super Series tournament at 140 pounds where he could potentially walk away with the WBA and IBF titles.
Ramirez won the WBC title on the March 17 Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card from Madison Square Garden when he defeated Amir Imam by unanimous decision. O’Connor, the WBC International Silver champion, is ranked No. 14 in the latest WBC super lightweight rankings.