As revealed at the end of October, top super lightweights Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza will headline a February 5th ESPN+ show in Fresno, which also features the pro debut of Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Richard Torrez Jr.
JUST ANNOUNCED— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 16, 2021
Former Unified world champion @RAMIREZBOXING will return in front of a home crowd to face former two-time champion @Sniper_Pedraza in the 12-round Junior Welterweight main event. #RamirezPedraza | FEB 5 | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/ZBHQ3MUIlx
As Scott pointed out in the above-linked piece, it’s an excellent matchup, one of the best that can be made at 140 pounds. Ramirez (26-1, 17 KO) needs a big bounce-back win after coming up short against Josh Taylor, while Pedraza (29-3, 14 KO) has really found his footing at the weight with three consecutive wins. Whoever wins will most likely be next in line for WBC mandatory status behind Jose Zepeda.
“I am motivated to become world champion once again, and it begins with a tough fight against Pedraza,” Ramirez said. “There are no better fans than the ones who pack the Save Mart Center every time I fight. The Central Valley is my home, and it is always a great honor to perform for my people.”
Pedraza said, “The new year will bring a big opportunity to battle against a former world champion like Jose Ramirez. This fight is very important for me because I know this will be the fight that will give me the opportunity to win a world title in a third weight division.
“There is no space for a loss. Not on my record, and much less in my mind. I know that Ramirez is a great fighter and always comes well prepared. He always comes in shape to give the fans a great fight.”
Per the press release, Torrez’s debut will serve as the six-round co-main event. The 22-year-old amateur standout put forth a terrific effort in Tokyo, beating the likes of Dainier Pero and Kamshybek Kunkabaev before falling to top-seeded Bakhodir Jalolov in the finals. He’s on the smaller side for the division, but his grit, skills, and motor make him someone worth keeping an eye on.
“I can think of no better place to turn pro than in front of my Central Valley friends and family,” Torrez said. “They’ve supported me my entire amateur career, and I am thrilled that they will see the start of my professional journey. Let’s show everyone what it means to be valley grown!”
The card also features a standard array of Top Rank prospects, namely Raymond Muratalla (13-0, 11 KO), Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KO), Javier Martinez (5-0, 2 KO), and Antonio Mireles (2-0, 2 KO)