Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez battle in New York for the vacant WBC super lightweight title. Ramirez is the betting favorite.
Saturday, March 17, Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez fight for the vacant WBC super lightweight title. This fight proves that there is something very wrong with the number of weight classes and sanctioning bodies in boxing today.
This title was vacated by Terence Crawford after he beat Julius Indongo to unify the super lightweight division. He decided to relinquish all his titles in order to move up to welterweight.
The super lightweight division is scattered with notable names like Mikey Garcia, Kiryl Relikh and Adrien Broner. It’s hard to believe that the WBC had to dig so far down to come up with Imam and Ramirez. The problem is that the WBC has Imam and Ramirez at the top of their rankings.
The WBC has Imam rated as the number one super lightweight and Ramirez at number three. These are terrible rankings. Boxrec.com is more accurate with its rating system. That site has Imam rated as the 64th welterweight and Ramirez as the 23rd super lightweight in the world. The WBC and Boxrec are light years apart.
Sanctioning bodies are in competition with each other, so they don’t rate boxers who hold titles with other sanctioning bodies. This dilutes their rankings with subpar competitors. The WBC’s super lightweight rankings are a perfect example.
Imam (21-1, 18 KOs) and Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs) have nice records on paper, but they are not deserving of a title shot. Neither boxer has ever beaten a notable opponent. They’ve beaten a contingent of C-level boxers to build up their résumés.
According to the SportsBookReview, Ramirez is a -430 favorite. Both boxers have good power, but Ramirez has fought slightly better opposition than Imam. Both men have a similar experience in terms of career length, but Ramirez’s elevated competition makes his pro experience the richer of the two.
Ramirez should outthink and outbox Imam. Look for Ramirez to win by unanimous decision.
Regardless of who wins, neither boxer is worthy of being a world titlist. This bout exemplifies why too many weight classes and too many sanctioning bodies hurt boxing’s legitimacy and legacy.