Jose Ramirez will not be taking a WBC title shot against Regis Prograis in his next fight, as ESPN.com reports that Ramirez has officially decided to pass on the opportunity, citing the WBC’s 65-35 purse bid split in the titleholder’s favor.
Ramirez told Mike Coppinger that he was “disappointed” in the ruling, believing the fight “should definitely be a 50-50 split,” which was never realistic, it should be made clear; he also said he’d have been fine taking “10 percent less,” which probably means 55-45 in Prograis’ favor, and not 60-40.
Ramirez also said it’s “a huge fight that is not being promoted properly,” which is kind of a bizarre statement for something that was never signed, thus never had a chance to be promoted.
Prograis was also “disappointed,” and said it was “bullshit,” believing Ramirez has never wanted to fight him.
It’s worth remembering, too, that the vacant WBC title fight was supposed to be between Ramirez and Jose Zepeda, but Ramirez also passed on that because he was getting married.
Ramirez (27-1, 17 KO) is a Top Rank fighter, and Prograis (28-1, 24 KO) is not; he’s signed to Probellum, but there was still decent reason to hope the fight could get done. Ramirez was promised the winner of Prograis’ fight with Zepeda, which Prograis won in dominant fashion on Nov. 26 in Carson, Calif.
It won’t happen, though, or at least not next. The idea now for Ramirez, according to Coppinger, is to match him against former lightweight titleholder Richard Commey on Mar. 25.
As for Prograis, there will be options, though we may not get the sort of fight fans want, or that Prograis wants. Teofimo Lopez’s controversial win over Sandor Martin was technically a WBC eliminator despite being a 10-round fight. Others in the most recent WBC top 10 — who aren’t Zepeda, Ramirez, Lopez, or Martin — include Gary Antuanne Russell, Ryan Garcia, Arnold Barboza, Sergey Lipinets, and Jose Pedraza.
A quick rundown there:
- Russell will reportedly face WBA titleholder Alberto Puello next, so take him out of the conversation.
- Garcia was meant to fight Mercito Gesta in late January, but has decided to pass on that and wait until April’s agreed-upon bout with Gervonta Davis. He’s not going to be in the discussion here.
- Barboza, another Top Rank fighter, is going to face Pedraza on Feb. 3. Take both of them out.
- Lipinets, who moved back down to 140 in August with a one-sided win over Omar Figueroa Jr, seems available; he’s a PBC guy.
It’s pretty hard to make a confident guess. Stevie Spark, who got a DQ win over Montana Love, will move up in the next WBC rankings and could get some consideration. Yves Ulysse Jr was in the last top 15, as were Shohjahon Ergashev and Lindolfo Delgado, and they could be available.
Or we could see something totally unexpected. It’s boxing. Who knows?