Ramirez Taylor Boxing

Jose Ramirez hits Josh Taylor during a junior welterweight title boxing bout Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Las Vegas. Former world champion Jose Ramirez, an Avenal native, will return to the ring on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022.

Former world champion Jose Ramirez, an Avenal native, will return to the ring on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, when he faces former two-weight champion Jose Pedraza in a 12-round Junior Welterweight bout at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. Ramirez is coming off his first career loss to Josh Taylor back in May 2021.

“Jose Ramirez has always demanded the biggest challenges, and he’s back in there with a tough former champion in Jose Pedraza,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “There are few more exciting atmospheres in boxing than when Jose fights in the Central Valley. The fans their love Jose, and he embodies the region’s blue-collar work ethic.”

Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time since May’s decision defeat to Josh Taylor for the undisputed junior welterweight title. Ramirez had made four title defenses since winning the WBC crown in 2018, and he unified the WBC and WBO world titles the following year with a knockout win over Maurice Hooker. Ramirez has drawn 65,794 fans through five headlining fight nights at Save Mart Center. When he fought Jose “Chon” Zepeda at Save Mart Center in February 2019, 14,034 fans — an attendance record for boxing in the arena — turned up.

“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.”

"This one is personal to Ramírez,” said Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s manager. “This is the fight that puts him back at the top of the sport and in line for the biggest fights.”

In a six-round heavyweight special feature immediately before the main event, Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr., from nearby Tulare, will make his long-awaited professional debut.

Torrez made history as the first American Olympian to medal in the Super Heavyweight division since Riddick Bowe in 1988. Last month, he signed a long-term professional contract with Top Rank

“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!”

Lompoc native Karlos Balderas will also be fighting on the undercard.

Tickets go on sale for $36 on Monday, Dec. 20 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.

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