By Mike Smith: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez (27-0, 17 KOs) won’t be fighting for the remainder of 2019 due to surgery that he had on his injured left hand. Ramirez, 27, won’t be back in action until February 2020, according to his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.

“Had surgery 2 weeks after my July 27th fight. I can’t use until 6-8 weeks post surgery. I could be back in the ring in Dec, however due to no dates available that month we will be back in the ring early 2020 I just need my hand to heal and I’ll give anybody a run for their money,” said Ramirez on his Twitter.

Ramirez to fight in February against Viktor Postol

“Jose Ramirez hurt his hand again, and this time I got him to see the top hand doctor in the country, Dr. Steve Shen in Los Angeles,” said Top Rank promoter Arum. “He did [Vasiliy] Lomachenko, and he’s done all my fighters. He is treating the hand, and he said if we push it, Jose could come back this year in December. That would be pushing it a little bit, and to put him back in January. Well, he’s Mexican, so he celebrates Christmas and New Years.

We’re looking to have him go in February on the Saturday preceding the Super Bowl. It’ll be under consideration [staging it in Fresno, California]. I don’t know exactly where the fight will be. He’s obligated to do a mandatory with [Viktor] Postol, the WBC mandatory, and then he’ll do the WBO mandatory with the English fighter [Jack Catterall].Then hopefully, we’ll be ready to fight the Josh-Prograis winner,” said Arum.

Ramirez hurt his left hand stopping WBO light welterweight champion Maurice Hooker in the 6th round on July 27 in Arlington, Texas.  Last year, Ramirez won the vacant World Boxing Council 140-lb title in beating Amir Imam by a 12 round decision. Since winning the WBC belt, Ramirez has successfully defended his title three times in beating Maurice Hooker, Jose Zepeda and Antonio Orozco.

Ramirez to fight Postol & Catterall in 2020

Arum plans on having Ramirez fight in early 2020 on February 30 before the Super Bowl. He’ll be defending against his World Boxing Council mandatory Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) on ESPN+ at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

If Ramirez wins that fight, then Arum will have him defend against his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall. Arum plans on keeping Ramirez busy in 2020 matching him against his two mandatory challengers Postol and Catterall.  Those back to back fights appear to be a way for Arum to have Ramirez milk his WBC/WBO 140-lb titles.

People want to see Ramirez fight Prograis vs. Taylor winner

The fans don’t care about seeing Ramirez fight Postol and Catterall. Those are decent fighters, but fans want to see Ramirez take on the winner of the World Boxing Super Series tournament final between Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor. The winner of that tourney will hold the IBF & WBA light welterweight titles.

Prograis is fighting Taylor next month on October 26 on DAZN and Sky Sports Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England. It’s possible that Arum might have some doubts whether Ramirez can beat Taylor or Prograis. Those guys would be a huge leap up in competition for Ramirez, and he might not be up to the task. If Ramirez loses badly to the Prograis vs. Taylor winner, it would be a blow for Arum. Prograis has been trying to get a fight against Ramirez since 2018 with no luck.