A New US Star?
If I asked you the question, who is the biggest ticket seller of any boxer from the United States? You might say Terrence Crawford without hesitation and even though it is close, you would be wrong.  Then you might rattle off a few names like Deontay Wilder or Adrien Broner or a hundred other boxers before you got to the right answer. In the Central Valley of California there is a little known, relatively speaking, who sells out his home arena every fight for the last 3 years.  The Central Valley is a forgotten place when people think of California because the first things that come to mind are Hollywood or the Bay Area or even wine country in Napa Valley. 

But, in the Central Valley it’s a different world compared to those areas, it is an agricultural area one of the biggest in the United States and had been through a decade long drought.   This is obviously a huge issue to farmers because the state cut off a huge supply of the water to these farms and a “Fight for Water” began. Enter Jose Ramirez from Avenal, CA a 2012 U.S. Olympian, who turned pro soon after to little or no fanfare, and quickly made the farmers fight for water his own fight as he and his parents spent time in the fields. Soon he began to sell a few thousand tickets and as he continued to build his career so did his ticket sales. Over the last couple years he went from 9,000 to 10,000 and his last three fights in his “hometown” of Fresno, CA he has sold 13,000 plus tickets with the pinnacle behind this past Saturday of a sell out of 13,838 in front of his home crowd and on ESPN where his fight drew a viewing audience of 1.48 million, and even though those numbers don’t sound huge, in the U.S. those a huge number for cable television. 
After his third straight sell out Ramirez has planted his flag as the biggest ticket seller of any boxer from the States, and with the performance of a second round stoppage of Mike Reed his biggest test so far in his young career he is well on his way to becoming more than just a local draw (if he keeps on winning).  His next fight looks to be against once beaten Amir Imam possibly for the vacant WBC 140lb belt and again Fresno will be the location, since the departure of Terrence Crawford to the welterweight division the junior welterweight division has opened up to a group of fighters who can fill the void left by Crawford.

With guys like Ramirez, Imam, and others like Regis Prograis, Victor Postol, and of course Scottish sensation Josh Taylor, who made his own statement with a stoppage victory over veteran Miguel Vazquez, it’s anybody’s game to see who the next star of 140lb will be before they make the move to the glamour division of welterweight. So when you listen to shows and they are talking about the biggest ticket seller from America and the name Jose Ramirez isn’t mention just know you are not getting to whole story.