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Veterans Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza Square Off Friday

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Veterans Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza Square Off Friday

Mikey Williams -Top Rank Boxing

Veterans Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza Square Off Friday

Coming up tonight in Fresno, CA, Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza understand the stakes. The junior welterweights know that the winner of Friday night’s 12-round Top Rank main event at the Save Mart Center will likely receive a world title shot next.

Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) is a former unified world champion seeking to return to the division’s apex. The journey back begins in the venue where he routinely packs crowds of more than 12,000 fans. Ramirez hails from the farming community of Avenal, about an hour’s drive from Fresno. And he told the media earlier this week,

“My goal is to stay at the highest level of competition. My goal is to become a world champion again. You have to fight the best to be ready for those fights. I don’t want any easy fights. I don’t want to be fighting fights that are going to be tuneup fights,” Ramirez said.

“That’s the only thing I’ve been thinking about throughout the whole training camp, pushing myself to learn from my mistakes and to become a world champion again. I feel hungry. I feel like the Jose Ramirez that got his opportunity in 2018 and became world champion for the first time. I just want it back. I want to go out there and perform my best and to showcase my talent in front of all the fans. It means a lot. I’m looking forward to it.” 

As for Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs), he’s from Cidra, Puerto Rico, is a two-weight world champion with hopes of conquering a third weight class. He has won three straight bouts, since losing a decision in his junior welterweight debut to Jose Zepeda.

The entire Ramirez-Pedraza card will stream and exclusively on ESPN+ starting at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT.

Ramirez vs. Pedraza headlines a stacked card that includes featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs) against Jeo Santisima (21-3, 18 KOs) in a 10-rounder, the six-round heavyweight professional debut of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. versus Allen Melson (6-3, 3 KOs), Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-1, 7 KOs) coming back in a 10-round junior lightweight matchup against Abraham Montoya (20-2-1, 14 KOs), and rising junior lightweight Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KOs) in a six-rounder versus Aelio Mesquita (20-6-1, 18 KOs)

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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