As revealed last month, unified super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez Jr. will once again attempt to face mandatory challenger Viktor Postol on August 29th.
This one will be worth the wait …— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 6, 2020
JUST ANNOUNCED: The showdown between unified Junior Welterweight world champion @RAMIREZBOXING & former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol will take place Aug. 29 at the MGM Grand Conference Center.
Watch #RamirezPostol live on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/YrvqNylO4j
Postol (31-2, 12 KO) claimed WBC mandatory status with an April 2019 decision over Mohamed Mimoune on the Robert Easter-Rances Barthelemy card I’m sure most of us would rather forget. Ramirez’s (25-0, 17 KO) successful unification match with Maurice Hooker came with the expectation that he subsequently face Postol and WBO mandatory challenger Jack Catterall; as a result, despite fellow unified champ Josh Taylor fighting his own mandatory in Apinun Khongsong on September 26th, it may still be a while before we see a bid for undisputed glory.
“I’m excited to finally be back. It’s always an honor stepping into the ring, fighting a guy like Postol and defending my belts,” Ramirez said. “God knows that my goal is to become the undisputed champion, and this gets me one step closer to my goal.”
Postol said, “I’m just looking forward to fighting. I’m coming to win those world titles. I have been training since this fight was first announced, so I’m focused and ready to go.”
The co-feature pits unbeaten super lightweight prospect Arnold Barboza Jr. (23-0, 10 KO) against Canadian veteran Tony Luis (29-3, 10 KO), who’s 10-0 since a narrow 2015 loss to Derry Matthews. Barboza has notably knocked out Mike Alvarado and taken a decision over Mike Reed, while Luis boasts wins over three then-unbeaten fighters and one over veteran Adrian Estrella.
“Tony Luis is as tough as they come. He won’t lay down for me. He sees this as a big opportunity, and I can’t let him take it,” Barboza said. “To be honest, the whole no fans thing, I’m more curious than anything. I’ve fought in front of limited fans deep on undercards before. Once you’re in the ring, there’s no difference. I am happy to be part of this ‘Bubble’ experience because it will go down in history.”
Luis said, “I want to thank Top Rank and my promoter, Liveco Boxing, for this amazing opportunity. I’m proud of myself for not giving up throughout all the uncertainty over the past several months. I knew this pandemic would be a test of character, and I forced myself to stay dedicated, knowing that if an opportunity arose, I’d be ready to strike. I have not lost in over five years, I’m in the best shape in my life, and I feel that Arnold Barboza Jr. is the perfect opponent to showcase my skills and take my career to the next level. Everyone dreams of fighting in Las Vegas. On August 29, my dream will come true, and I plan to make the most of this opportunity. For a small-town kid, we proved a lot of people wrong. Let’s get it on.”