• January 29, 2023

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Jose Ramirez to meet Richard Commey on March 25 in Fresno

Jose Ramirez and Richard Commey have agreed to a deal for a March 25 fight in Fresno, California, sources told ESPN.

The Top Rank Boxing on ESPN main event will take place at the Save Mart Center, which is approximately 66 miles from Ramirez’s hometown of Avenal, where he’s headlined many times before sell-out crowds.

Commey landed the assignment after Ramirez passed up on a title fight versus Regis Prograis due to the purse split. As the mandatory challenger, Ramirez was entitled to 35% if the WBC junior welterweight title fight headed to a purse bid.

“I’m disappointed in that split,” Ramirez, ESPN’s No. 4 junior welterweight, told ESPN in a text message last month. “This fight should definitely be a 50-50 [split] and I was OK on taking 10% less, but I can’t be fighting for free and risk too much of a pay cut. Boxing is a tough sport and we want to make sure we get valued.

“This is a huge fight [vs. Prograis] that is not being promoted properly. Hopefully we can make the fight happen in the future when we both get compensated as we should.”

In the meantime, Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) will meet Commey in the homecoming fight.

Ramirez, 30, was in line for a rematch versus Jose Zepeda in the fall for the vacant WBC title but declined the opportunity due to his October wedding. The fight vs. Commey will be Ramirez’s first since March, when the Olympian outpointed Jose Pedraza in Fresno. The victory followed a tight decision loss to Josh Taylor in May 2021 for the undisputed junior welterweight championship. The fight would have been ruled a draw if not for two knockdowns suffered by Ramirez.

Commey, a 35-year-old Ghanian, lost his 135-pound title to Teofimo Lopez via second-round TKO in December 2019. Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs) rebounded with a sixth-round KO of Jackson Marinez last year before he was routed by Vasiliy Lomachenko in December 2021.

Following the setback, Commey moved up to 140 pounds for an August fight against Pedraza that ended in a draw.

Steve Carr

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