By: Hans Themistode
Both Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol waited, waited, waited and waited some more.
But with various delays due to the world pandemic, a contest between the two felt improbable. Despite that, they’ll finally have their long awaited matchup go down later tonight at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For Ramirez, a bout with Postol follows the perpetual list of top fighters he has faced over the years. The momentum that he built from wins over the likes of Amir Imam, Jose Zepeda and most recently, Maurice Hooker, has him knocking on the door of most pound for pound lists.
Unlike most fighters who took the COVID-19 induced hiatus to gain a few pounds, Ramirez was hard at work sharpening his tools.
“I stayed at the gym,” said Ramirez on a recent Top Rank press release. “I remained composed and patient. I’m a man of faith. I believe everything happens for a reason, and now that I’m here, I can’t wait to showcase my talent. I’m ready to go and continue my journey to become undisputed champion. I know Viktor Postol stands in the way of that, and he is a very experienced fighter. I have been training very, very hard for this fight.”
Ramirez, 28 and Postol, 36, appear to be on the opposite end of the career rollercoaster at the moment. The current unified champion is steadily building his name in boxing circles as he prepares for big time clashes against fellow champions in Josh Taylor and Terence Crawford.
Postol on the other hand, appears to be on a fast track to nowhere. Since his title win against Lucas Matthysse in 2015, Postol has come up woefully short in the two biggest matchups of his career against Crawford and Taylor.
But with his name possibly unassociated with the top of the division following a loss later tonight, Postol has pushed his 36 year old legs to the limit during his training camp.
“Jose is a good fighter,” said Postol. “He is a good champion, but I know I have a good chance to win this fight. I have the motivation because this fight is for two belts. I’ll be ready.”
The action kicks off at 9 PM eastern time on ESPN.
By: Hans Themistode
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
In the case of unified Jr welterweight champion Jose Ramirez and his mandatory challenger Viktor Postol, that is exactly what they have done.
With COVID-19 causing delays and cancelations throughout the boxing landscape, no two boxers have suffered more. In February of this year, Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) was set to take on Postol in China. That of course, was the beginning of the global pandemic and their contest, subsequently, was one of the first major events forced to hit the sidelines. After waiting three months, all systems seemed to be a go for the two men to settle their differences on May 9th, in Fresno California.
However, the virus would throw yet another monkey wrench into the equation which forced another postponement. Now, with Ramirez’s promotional company in Top Rank developing safety protocols, both Ramirez and Postol are now scheduled to meet on August 29th, from the safety of the “Bubble” at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The constant red and green lights for their upcoming contest seems to have no effects on Ramirez. He isn’t acrimonious towards the situation and just wants to get fight night going.
“I’m excited to finally be back,” said Ramirez during a recent interview. “It’s always an honor stepping into the ring, fighting a guy like Postol and defending my belts. “God knows that my goal is to become the undisputed champion. This gets me one step closer to my goal.”
At the age of 36, title opportunities aren’t knocking at the door of the former champion. The Ukrainian born contender has gone four years since his last championship match. Although it was the biggest contest of his career, it’s a night that Postol would rather not remember.
On July 23rd, Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) found himself sharing the ring with pound for pound star Terence Crawford in a unification contest. Many believed that their matchup would be competitive, yet Crawford squashed that notion with a one sided performance. Since then, Postol has gotten his hand raised in victory in three of his past four matches. His lone defeat would come at the hands of another unified champion in Josh Taylor.
The ups and downs that have been associated with his career, coupled with the uncertainty of whether or not his contest against Ramirez would actually take place, has left Postol hungrier then ever.
“I’m just looking forward to fighting. I’m coming to win those world titles. I have been training since this fight was first announced, so I’m focused and ready to go.”
By: William Holmes
The Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC solidified their debut in Brooklyn, New York, at the Barclays Center with a strong undercard featuring several former Olympians and local talent from the New York City area.
The first bout on the undercard was between Stephon McIntyre (2-7-2) and Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett (7-0) in the featherweight division.
At first, McIntyre looked better than his record suggested, as he willingly exchanged with Burnett in the first round and was able to sufficiently block most of Burnett’s blows. Burnett adjusted his offense towards the end of the first round to get past McIntyre’s high guard and focused on the body. Burnett landed a left hook to the body at the end of the first that sent McIntyre to the mat grimacing in pain and unable to get up.
Ryan Burnett made quick work of Stephon McIntyre by knockout at 2:59 of the first round.
The second bout of the night was between undefeated Brooklyn native Heather Hardy (12-0) and Renata Domsodi (11-6) in the junior featherweight division.
Domsodi, a forty-year-old, was wearing bandage or a wrap on both knees and she was significantly slower than Hardy and was in a blatant mismatch. Hardy walked Domsodi from the first round on and was able to land punches on the body and head of her opponent nearly every time she threw a punch.
A large marjority of the small number of fans in attendance for the undercard were supporting Hardy and Domsodi was giving them little reason to worry about a loss. The only offense that Domsodi was able to muster was an occasional jab.
Hardy continued to walk Domsodi down in the third round, but caused a cut by her right eye after an accidental head butt. The ring side doctor took a quick look at her and let her continue, but Hardy immediately jumped on Domsodi and continued to pound her opening up the cut even worse. Domsodi complained about the blood near her eye and the referee waved off the fight.
Since the cut was caused by an accidental head butt before the fourth round, the fight was stopped at 1:57 of the third round and ruled a no contest.
The next bout of the night was between local favorite Luis Collazo (35-6) and Chris Degollado (10-4) in the welterweight division.
Collazo is an established veteran who still has some good fights left in him, and his edge in experience was evident in the first round. Collazo, a southpaw, was able to shoulder roll most of Degollado punches in the first round and was waiting for the right moment to land a good counter punch. He didn’t have to wait long, as he connected with a rising lead right hook on Degollado that had him badly stunned and backing into a corner. Collazo jumped on Degollado and landed several more telling blows before the referee jumped in to stop the bout.
The stoppage might have been a bit premature, but Degollado was clearly in over his head. The referee stopped the bout 1:46 of the second round to give Collazo the TKO victory.
Daniel Calzada (11-13-2) met Prichard Colon (13-0) in the junior middleweight division.
Colon looked to be a good half foot taller than Calzada and he used his reach and height to his advantage. He fought at a safe distance and landed quick combinations on Calzada throughout the bout and looked very comfortable.
Calzada was short with his punches and was never able to get within punching distance of his opponent. Calzada was wobbled in the second round by a lead left uppercut, a punch that landed with regularity for Colon.
Colon might have been content to get some work in, as he never showed a strong desire to try and finish the fight. It might have cost him some fans, as Calzada appeared to be an opponent that he should have been able to finish, and at times the bout seemed repetitive and unexciting.
Colon would have been wise to take some risks and try to finish the fight emphatically, but he never stepped on the gas pedal to try and finish his opponent.
Colon was continuing to play it safe in the ninth round when the referee inexplicably stopped the fight after Colon landed a good left uppercut, but not an uppercut that appeared to hurt Calzada badly. The crowd was not supportive of the decision to stop the fight and let their voices be heard.
Colon won by TKO at 1:38 of the ninth round .
The final untelevised undercard bout was between Viktor Postol (26-0) and Jake Giuriceo (17-2-1) in the welterweight division.
Postol was supposed to be the mandatory challenger for Danny Garcia’s WBC Junior Welterweight title, but he accepted some step-aside money so that Garcia could face Lamont Peterson first.
This would have been a good opportunity for Postol to impress a fan base that might not have been too familiar with his work, but he was not impressive tonight.
Postol looked to be a good half-foot taller than his opponent and was able to fight safely and effectively without taking many risks. At times the fight looked like a sparring contest, as Giuriceo’s punches lacked any power when he was able to land, but for the most part he was a moving punching bag.
Giuriceo’s one good moment in the fight came in the beginning of the third round, when he surprised Postol with a two-hook combination, but Postol quickly settled back down and soundly outboxed the smaller Giuriceo.
Postol did have Giuriceo momentarily hurt in the fourth round, but did not score any knockdowns in a rather uneventful bout.
The judges scored it 79-73, 80-72, and 80-72 for Viktor Postol.