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Jose Ramirez wants Josh Taylor before moving up in weight to face Terence Crawford

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC and WBO junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez 25-0 (17) is staying in shape as he waits for his mandatory title defence against Viktor Postol 31-2 (12) to be rescheduled.

The undefeated 27-year-old champion was scheduled to face Postol on February 2 in China but the bout became one of the first sporting casualties of the coronavirus. The fight was rescheduled for Fresno, California on May 9 but that date too has been scrapped.

Ramirez has been out of action since knocking out Maurice Hooker in a title unification bout last July.

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“Obviously it’s the second time my fight gets postponed,” Ramirez told Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher. “There’s a lot of frustration there because of the sacrifices we go through. I’ve been training for the same fight since November. I trained through the holidays, which is always difficult.”

If Ramirez is successful against Postol, his next goal will be to unify all 140-pound belts against WBA and IBF champion Josh Taylor.

“I owe it to myself to fight for all the belts just because if I were to go up to the next weight class, people will still doubt who the best 140-pounder is, just because there is another guy with two belts,” Ramirez said.

“There are some other fighters that I didn’t get to face at 140. I really want to prove a lot of people wrong. I want to do it for myself. I know I can be the best 140 in the world. I know I can see myself with all four belts.

“It’s just a matter of time and once I do that, I think that’s going to put my name more out there worldwide. It’s going to definitely make a stronger impact when I do move to 147 knowing that the undisputed champion at 140 is moving up to 147. I think that’s going to make more noise.”

At 5-foot-10 Ramirez sees himself filling out into a solid welterweight and says he would welcome the opportunity to challenge undefeated WBO 147-pound boss Terence Crawford 36-0 (27).

“I’ll take any route that leads me to fight for a world title. Crawford is an excellent fighter, so yeah, I would definitely be honoured to share the ring with him,” Ramirez said.

“I think I’ll show him something new. I think I’ll bring something out of him. By the time I do make that decision to move to 147 and put that extra muscle on me, on my body, I’ll be a much stronger Jose Ramirez.

“I can see myself developing into a better welterweight than super lightweight. I do have the height. I do have the body frame. I think once I put the extra seven pounds on, it’s going to be a huge difference in a very positive way.

“After Crawford, I plan to stay in the welterweight division for quite a while, definitely fight all the top names out there and see how I do. I think I have what it takes to stay at this level of competition for a long time.”

Another target is former WBA champion Regis Prograis 24-1 (20) who lost his belt on points to Josh Taylor in the final of the World Boxing Super Series.

“Definitely. I think if the fight with Regis takes place, it might take place at 147, though, because I have (junior welterweight) fights lined up,” he said. “I really want to move up after that.”

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