Jose Ramirez successfully defended his Super Lightweight WBC World Title against the undefeated Antonio Orozco on Friday, September 14th, 2018 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Jose Ramirez won via unanimous decision in twelve rounds. The title bout began with a flurry of punches thrown by both Chicano boxers. The first round would be a preview of the entertaining performance both young athletes would provide. Excitement was palpable as evidenced by the constant and continuous cheers of the hometown hero’s name, Jose Ramirez! Antonio Orozco fans countered with their own chants in support of the man training out of San Diego.
The excitement of the crowd morphed into a small altercation in the stands; security easily and rapidly defused the situation. The focused boxers were not distracted despite the fans chants and jeers directed away from the ring. It should be noted that Orozco, either as a physical or mental strategy, in between rounds remained seated on his stool until it seemed absolutely necessary for him to get up to resume fighting. Because this strategy began early in the fight, Orozco did not seem to remain seated as relief from exhaustion.
Ramirez knocked down Orozco in the fourth round with a combination of punches and again in the eight. Orozco returned to his feet after each knock down and fought back valiantly. Ramirez was landing the harder punches throughout the fight, but Orozco countered admirably and skillfully, if not more precisely. These young Chicanos went toe-to-toe through the twelfth round causing the crowd to cheer gratefully and excitedly for the show these young men brought to the Central Valley. Orozco was as resilient as his undefeated record would suggest, but the hero of the Central Valley would not be defeated at home.
I spoke with boxing fans at Mad Duck Craft Brewing before the fight to learn more about the local champion, Jose Ramirez. One gentleman was an employee of a local company, Harris Enterprises. Harris Enterprises purchased over a dozen seats so its employees could support Jose Ramirez of nearby Avenal, California. The fan informed me that Jose Ramirez has been a guest at the company where he spoke with the employees and signed autographs.
A different fan reminded me of Jose Ramirez’s Mexican heritage and his advocacy for water rights in California’s Central Valley. Jose Ramirez’s parents emigrated from Mexico and have, like him, worked in the farms surrounding his hometown of Avenal, California. The same fan informed me that Avenal’s population is “inflated” because many residents are housed in Avenal State Prison, where this fan claimed to work. Population dynamics aside, Jose Ramirez’s advocacy is exemplified by his past “Fight for Water” boxing matches. That series of boxing matches was promoted to raise awareness of the water issues affecting the local economy. Water, immigration, and boxing appear to be what Jose Ramirez will keep fighting for. In the ring, trainer Robert Garcia of Ramirez’s corner could be seen in his “Pro-Immigrant” attire to remind fans whose corner his team is fighting for.