Jose Ramirez, who holds the WBC 140-pound title, is set to return on Sunday, Feb. 10, in an ESPN-televised card, likely from his home base in Fresno, California, though the venue has not been set yet.
Former Olympian Ramirez (23-0, 16 KO) won the WBC title on March 17 in New York, beating Amir Imam in a battle for the vacant strap. He followed that up with a successful defense on Sept. 14 against Antonio Orozco, winning a wide 12-round decision in an entertaining bout at Save Mart Arena in Fresno.
The 26-year-old Ramirez is sort of on the outside looking in in the division right now, at least while the World Boxing Super Series is going on. With four of the division’s better fighters currently — for now — locked into the semifinal round of that tournament, it’s hard to guess whom he may face in February.
At last check, the WBC had an interim champion in Regis Prograis, who is in the WBSS, and a silver titleholder/No. 1 contender in Josh Taylor, also in the WBSS. Adrien Broner was the No. 2 ranked contender, and he’s busy on Jan. 19 against Manny Pacquiao. Jorge Linares is ranked third, and he’s a Golden Boy guy. So there’s no easy guess here.
It’s also hard to guess because it could be some non-contender we’ve never even considered for a title shot, because sometimes boxing works like that. Hopefully it’ll be someone decent, but that’s no guarantee.