Jose Ramirez realized the dream that began as a youngster in Avenal, winning the WBC world super lightweight boxing championship Saturday in New York City.The undefeated Ramirez controlled the 12-round fight start to finish, especially in the final round when he was waiting for Imam at the bell and staggered his opponent at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, The judges scored the entertaining fight unanimously for Ramirez: 115-113, 117-111, 120-108. The 25-year-old Ramirez improved his pro record to 22-0 with 16 knockouts. Imam fell to 21-2.
Ramirez landed some left hooks in the early rounds and continued to land punches, especially landing a punch to Imam’s head with a right in the sixth.Neither boxer scored a knockdown, but Ramirez outpunched Imam throughout. ESPN statistics showed that Ramirez landed 228 power punches to 108 by Imam.
Ramirez said he took control of the fight in the eighth round and beyond.Back in his mind, he was thinking about his fans, farmers and many people that supported him from day one.
Ramirez is the first central San Joaquin Valley native to win a WBC world title.Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said the plan is to have Ramirez defend his world title at Chukchansi Park this summer.
In the post fight interview, Ramirez said,”I can’t even explain how I’m feeling,I’m a kid from Avenal. I went to a gym that opened up in 1999 and walked there from my Monterey Street address with a pair of gloves that weren’t a brand name. Now I’m a world champion and it all paid off.”
I’m pleased with my performance,” Ramirez said. “At the end of the day, I’m happy I’m a world champion. I’m happy my family is here with me and I’m happy my little boy was able to say ‘Papi’ when he was in the ring. I was really happy to get my second wind and fight those 12 rounds.”Ramirez said the first few rounds was close because of Imam’s jabs “and he did his job in there and made it difficult for me to go in the inside.”