By Dan Ambrose: Jose Ramirez opted to reject a title shot against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis due to his reported unhappiness with the 65/35 purse split he would get for the fight, according to Mike Coppinger from ESPN. Instead of this split, Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) wanted a 50/50 split as a challenger.
Ramirez says he “hope the fight will happen in the futurewith Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs).
To refuse the fight is a good way for Ramirez to dodge a loss to Prograis because at his recent appearance he wouldn’t stand a chance against the new WBC champion.
Ramirez lost to Josh Taylor last year, and in 2020 he barely beat Viktor Postol. The previous year, Ramirez had won a highly controversial 12-round majority decision over Jose Zepeda.
For fans who saw this fight, they felt that Zepeda got robbed. You can argue that Ramirez’s record in his last five fights should be 2-3. With the Ramirez performing since 2019, the last thing he needs is to fight a talent like Prograis. This guy could end what’s left of Ramirez’s sinking quarry because he’s looking over the hill.
On social media, Ramirez is being raked in by boxing fans, who see it as a 100% duck of him refusing a title shot. Instead of fighting Prograis, Ramirez could end up fighting 35-year-old former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey, who is 2-2-1 in his last five fights.
For Ramirez’s sake, we hope he doesn’t hold his breath waiting for a second chance because he’s 30 and not improving, as we’ve seen in his poor performances in his last two fights against Jose Pedraza and Josh Taylor.
Jose Ramirez squandered his title shot against Regis Prograis after the WBC finalized the purse split at 65-35 in favor of the champion.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) December 20, 2022
Prograis wanted to fight Ramirez years ago but was foiled at every turn and ended up opting to fight in a tournament, losing to Scottish fighter Taylor by a highly questionable decision in 2019 in London, England. This writer saw this fight and made Prograis win. Interestingly, Taylor never gave Prograis a rematch.
“I am disappointed with this split“, Ramirez told ESPN. “This fight should definitely be a 50-50 [split], and I was okay with taking 10% less, but I can’t fight for free and risk too big a pay cut. Boxing is a tough sport and we want to make sure we are valued.
“It’s a huge fight [vs. Prograis] which is not properly promoted. Hopefully we can make the fight happen in the future when we are both compensated as we should be.
You must be wondering what Top Rank thinks of Ramirez turning down a title shot against Prograis. Will they put Ramirez in line to fight for the WBO belt against Josh Taylor? Top Rank is also promoting Taylor.
The thing is, if Ramirez challenges for the WBO belt, it would be as a willing challenger because he’s only ranked No. 3, behind No. 1 Teofimo Lopez and No. 2 Liam Paro.
Teofimo is the first to fight the winner of the rematch Taylor against Jack Catterall. With Ramirez turning down the Prograis fight, Teofimo is next in the WBC rankings to be offered the Regis fight, but he probably won’t take the fight, however; he will likely go the route of least resistance against Josh Taylor.
Teofimo is highly unlikely to fight Prograis either, especially with how Teo appeared to win a controversial 10-round decision over Sandor Martin.
Teofimo has regressed badly as a fighter since his victory over Vasyl Lomachenko, and he would have significant problems against Prograis.
Top Rank needs to make a decision on what they want to do with Teofimo because he’s going to lose repeatedly if they put him up against contenders and have quality judges working his fights.