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With unification on his mind, Ramirez must overcome Postol obstacle

After two cancellations and considerable confusion caused by the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic, third time will be the charm when WBC/WBO 140lbs champion Jose Ramirez finally meets WBC mandatory contender Viktor Postol at ‘The Bubble’ in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on Saturday.

Victory will see Ramirez move one step closer to an undisputed world championship clash with fellow double title-holder Josh Taylor.

Ramirez-Postol was originally scheduled to take place in China on February 2 and then Fresno, California, on May 19, but had to be moved as the Coronavirus tore through those regions and paused life as we know it. 

The delay stopped the march of Californian Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) to the undisputed world championship after he impressively unified two belts with a sixth-round stoppage of WBO king Maurice Hooker in July 2019. Now Postol remains in the way of an epic encounter with WBA Super and IBF champion Taylor, also promoted by Top Rank and a makeable fight.

“After the big win against Hooker, I am ready to go and continue my journey to become undisputed champion,” said Ramirez. “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.

“Due to the pandemic, the fight got rescheduled, but I stayed at the gym. I remained composed and patient. I have a great team and my family behind me. 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 on August 29. I want to show the world how much I have grown and matured as a unified champion. My goal is to become  world champion.

“For the first date for this fight, I did a full training camp. The fight got rescheduled the same day I was supposed to depart, but luckily, I didn’t get to the airport. For the second date, I was in camp for five weeks before I got the call that the fight was going to get cancelled again. Now, this is another nine-week camp that I’ve been on. My last fight was 13 months ago, but it feels like it was yesterday because I’ve been in the gym the whole year and with this fight on my mind the whole time.”

No-one should underestimate former WBC champion Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) who has only lost to the best in Taylor and pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford.

 “The first training camp was tough because I came to the US two months before the fight and we actually departed to China for the first fight date. It was a long flight,” recalled Ukrainian Postol. “This camp has also been very long. I came three months before the fight date, but I feel good. I feel ready to fight.

“Jose is a good fighter. 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.”

Coverage of Ramirez-Postol begins on ESPN+ at 7:30pm in the US.

Main image: Ramirez and Postol shape up at the pre-fight press conference. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank.