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Imam/Ramirez Preview

A battle for the WBC Super-Lightweight title, and the WBC's 2000th title fight.

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By Aaron Cooper

This weekend’s action continues where last weekend’s left off. The Super-Lightweight title picture is under the microscope for the second weekend in succession. Once again, we return to The Theatre at Madison Square Garden, New York.

This coming Saturday both Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam will share a piece of history together. They will fight for the vacant WBC Super-Lightweight title live on ESPN in America and BoxNation for fans in Britain.

But why is this bout historic? Well, this fight happens to be the 2,000th title fight in the WBC’s history. Not only will the winner claim the bragging rights and write his name in history as a world champion. But the victor will receive a commemorative belt to honour the landmark.

But who will be victorious?

Jose Ramirez is a former US National Amateur Champion and Olympian. My first observations are that he looks incredibly big at the 140-pound limit. His most impressive win by far was his last. He stopped highly touted prospect Mike Reed in just the second of ten scheduled rounds in November last year. He is a solid pressure fighter, he uses his punch output to keep his opponents on the back foot. But, he has also shown me that he can use his height and reach (72 inches) to his advantage. He isn’t a one trick pony, mistake no mistake he can work off of his jab and box.  Like all Freddie Roach trained fighters he is offensively minded, and boy does it show. He has blitzed through his opposition with relative ease. He has passed the gut check too. Johnny Garcia left him on the seat of his pants and he got up to win that fight.

Amir Imam is Don King’s last throw of the dice in a dwindling stable. Like his opponent, he too is big at the weight. At face value, Imam has everything you think he’d need to be a successful professional boxer. He has the ability, speed and power. At one time he was a really bright prospect until he came completely unstuck against Adrian Granados in 2015. Granados broke Imam’s spirit that night in Quebec City. He was able to walk right through everything Imam threw at him, stopping Imam in the eight round. However, he has rebuilt and won three in a row since that loss, setting him up for a tilt at the world title. His best win is against Yordenis Ugas, which given Ugas’ rise up the ranks is beginning to look better over time.

Prediction?

I am going to come off of the fence and say that Ramirez wins this fight. Imam needs to slow the pace right down in order to be effective. This is something I feel he will not have the opportunity to do. Like Granados, Ramirez is a pressure fighter, and I think his high volume will eventually win him the fight. Though it has to be said it is either man’s toughest test to date.

A trip down memory lane.

I could have written a whole piece on this, but that wouldn’t be fair to the two fighters due to share the ring. But spare a moment to think that this could well be the end of the Don King/Bob Arum rivalry. Although it is fair to say this died down many years ago, one can’t help but feel nostalgic.