The fight between unified junior welterweight world titleholder Jose Ramirez and mandatory challenger and former world titlist Viktor Postol has been postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic for a second time, Top Rank announced Tuesday.
The Ramirez-Postol fight was originally scheduled to take place as the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on Feb. 1 at Mission Hills Haikou resort in Haikou, China. It was postponed on Jan. 23.
The fight was then rescheduled to take place on May 9 and moved to the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Ramirez is from Avenal, California, which is about an hour from Fresno.
Now the fight is postponed again until a date to be determined, although Top Rank said it will still take place at the Save Mart Center, where Ramirez is a big draw. Top Rank said tickets for May 9 will remain valid for the new date.
"I feel terribly for Jose and Viktor, who have entered two training camps only to see the fight postponed both times," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "They are consummate professionals, and they will give the great Fresno fans a memorable fight whenever it occurs. We owe it to Jose and Viktor to make this fight happen as soon as it's safe to do so."
Although the rest of the card had not yet been finalized, also postponed was the co-feature between former junior lightweight and lightweight world titlist Jose "Sniper" Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs), 30, of Puerto Rico, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier Molina (22-2, 9 KOs), 30, of Norwalk, California. They were scheduled to square off in a 10-round junior welterweight fight.
Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs), 27, has made four successful title defenses but has not fought since he knocked out Maurice Hooker in the sixth round of an action-packed fight to unify two 140-pound belts last July.
While disappointed about the fight being postponed again, Ramirez had a positive attitude.
"I'm focused and will stay training and ready," Ramirez said. "Our nation's safety must come first. We will all get through this."
Postol (31-2, 12 KOs), 36, of Ukraine, a former world titleholder, won a unanimous decision over Mohamed Mimoune last April in a title elimination fight to become one of Ramirez's mandatory challengers.
Postol and Freddie Roach, his Hall of Fame trainer, had already traveled to China before the fight was postponed for the first time. Ramirez and his trainer, Robert Garcia, were about to leave when they were told to stay in the United States.