Jose Ramirez defends his WBC super lightweight title against Jose Zepeda on February 10, 2019 in a rare Sunday boxing title fight at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
Jose Ramirez ( 23-0 with 16 KOs)
Ramirez returns to the Save Mart Center where he last fought and defeated Antonio Orozco via unanimous decision to retain his 140-pound title. Ramirez won the vacant title by defeating Amir Imam also via 12 round unanimous decision. Prior to those two title fights, Ramirez knocked out four straight opponents inside of round six.
This is the fifth time overall that Ramirez is headlining a boxing event at the Save Mart Center and he’s established himself as one of the venue’s top draws. This is crucial because in a world title fight like this, he will have the the entire venue supporting and cheering him on.
Odds from Betonline.ag as of 2/08/19
O 9.5 -184
U 9.5 +164
Odds from Betonline as of 2/08/19
Jose Zepeda (30-1-0-1 with 25 KOs)
Jose Zepeda earned this title shot after five stoppage victories in his last seven bouts. These included a first round TKO win over former title challenger Ammeth Diaz and a sixth-round TKO victory over Abner Lopez. Zepeda is a southpaw who stands 5-8 with a reach of 70.5 inches
Since that setback, Zepeda is unbeaten in eight fights with seven wins and one no-contest. His last eight bouts have been in Mexico and it’s difficult to gauge how far he’s improved, if at all, because he’s fought mostly local boxers in the last three years. One thing’s for sure here. Zepeda hasn’t fought the same level of competition as Ramirez during that period.
Ramirez pack plenty of power and is a pressure fighter. He hasn’t exactly fought world class competition but his resume is obviously much better than Zepeda’s. When you include his amateur background, Ramirez has been in the ring with the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko whom he lost to by the score of 9-16 at the World Championships. The champion also holds a two inch advantage in height and reach over his challenger. And yes as we said earlier, Ramirez will also have the crowd behind him.
After that fight, Ramirez changed camps and went to Robert Garcia, who helped him win his first title defense last September. On the other hand, this will be the second bout for Zepeda with Roach in his corner. But while having Roach may be a psychological advantage for the challenger, a trainer can only do so much as to sharpen the fighter but he can’t change the boxer’s overall style. What Roach does though is make this fight more competitive than what the odds suggest. Still, I don’t think Zepeda upsets the champ here,.
I don’t think we’re going to see a tactical chess match in this fight. Ramirez and Zepeda both pack power in their punches. Both are young and hungry and eager to make an impression to attract the bigger names in the division and in the nearby weight classes. An impressive win by either is going to open opportunities. That said, both are going for the jugular here, mexican-style fighting. Zepeda will be game but Ramirez will be too much for him to handle.
Prediction: Jose Ramirez by knockout in the middle rounds, with the best value bet to make is Under 9.5 rounds at +164