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September 12, 2018


Press Release: The time is finally here for Jose Ramirez, who will make the first defense of his WBC 140-pound title against Antonio Orozco on Friday at the Save Mart Center. Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs) was supposed to defend his title at the Save Mart Center on July 7th, but the bout was canceled when Danny O'Connor was hospitalized for dehydration before the weigh-in. Orozco (27-0, 17 KOs) represents Ramirez's toughest test to date.

In the co-feature, United States Marine Corps veteran Jamel Herring (17-2, 10 KOs) will take on John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10 KOs) at junior lightweight. And, in a special feature, 18-year-old phenom Gabriel Flores Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) will face Roger Gutierrez (7-1-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round lightweight bout.

In other action: Fresno native Isidro Ochoa (5-0, 1 KO) will fight Elio De Jesus in a six-round featherweight bout, super bantamweight Santos Ortega (2-0, 1 KO) returns in a four-rounder, 140-pound contender Hiroki Okada (17-0, 12 KOs) will face Cristian Coria (27-6-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder, Alexander Besputin (10-0, 8 KOs) will battle Alan Sanchez (20-3-1, 10 KOs) at welterweight, and former two-time interim belt-holder Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) makes his return against Carlos Cardenas (21-14-1, 13 KOs) in a lightweight bout.

Ramirez-Orozco, Herring-Moralde, and Flores-Gutierrez will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET, with the entire undercard to be streamed at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ó the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Companyís Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

On Tuesday at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, Ramirez and many of the fighters from Friday's card worked out for the media. This is what they had to say.
Jose Ramirez
On the fight

"This is going to be a great fight. We are both very hungry. He's 27-0 and has been waiting for an opportunity like this, to fight for the WBC title. That pushes me even harder. This has been one of my longest camps, and the results will show in the ring."

On working with new trainer Robert Garcia

ďThis camp gave me more room to know Robert Garcia and more time for him to get to know me as a fighter. Sparring {with} the fighters at the {Robert Garcia Boxing Academy} has made me a more prepared Jose Ramirez. I sparred all different types of styles, which helped get me ready for a tough guy in Orozco. I pushed myself more. I feel like I got my confidence at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. I feel like Iím at home now.Ē

On July 7 Danny O'Connor defense being canceled after O'Connor missed weight
ďAfter that happened, I took my family out to Maui (Hawaii). In Maui, I was out there running and enjoying the fresh air, getting my frustrations out. Itís frustrating when you get ready for a fight and then it falls through. There was a lot of disappointment coming from my fans, but they understand that it wasnít my fault, that it was more my opponent not doing things correctly. At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. I have a much better opponent to make my first title defense. I think it's going to be a good fight for the boxing fans, for the Hispanics and the Mexicans that really like action fights. Specifically for them, I think they are going to be pleased to watch it on a big boxing weekend.Ē

Antonio Orozco

On facing Ramirez

ďHeís aggressive. I feel like he has a very fan-friendly style. He has a style that brings out fighters to fight. Itís what we like.Ē

On entering hostile territory in Fresno

ďIím fighting Jose Ramirez. Iím not fighting the fans or Fresno. Thatís beside the point. Iím focused on Jose Ramirez and the fight. Everything else is just ambient noise."

On his weight struggles

ďEarlier in the year, I left for Guadalajara, Mexico, and I just have a different view of things. I met a nutritionist down there and made 140 in March. Iím on the same regimen. What happened before, there are things that people donít know. Besides the point, Iím over that. Itís done and over with. But, hey, Iím not worried about it. I got bigger things to worry about, and thatís what my focus is on. Iíve had my downs and Iíve had my ups, and this is an opportunity Iím not going to let go.Ē 

Jamel Herring

On fighting as ESPN co-feature

ďIím just excited to fight alongside Jose, who is my good friend and Olympic teammate. Iíll be fighting in front of 14,000 screaming fans on the ESPN flagship station. Iím honored. Iím excited. I canít wait to get in there.Ē

On Moralde

ďI respect him. Heís here for a reason. I have fought a stronger pedigree of fighters. I saw his last two fights. I see he has issues with stamina at times. He looked good in his last fight {against Ismail Muwendo}, but Iím not Muwendo.Ē

Gabriel Flores Jr.

"I've been waiting my turn to fight on ESPN, and my time is now. This is for the kids in Stockton who look up to me. I want to inspire the kids in my community."

John Vincent Moralde

"This is a big opportunity for me. A win here will put my name in the conversation for bigger fights."

"Herring is good and strong, but there is nothing extraordinary about him. It's not like he's Lomachenko."

Isidro Ochoa

"It means a lot to fight at home. I'm a better fighter, and I am ready to perform for the hometown fans."

On training with Robert Garcia

"I've picked up a lot of new strategies. It was a great six-week camp. I feel like we're going to take this guy out early. No hesitation."

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