Ramirez was supposed to face Gabriel ‘Tito’ Bracero in the main event of the December 2nd ‘Solo Boxeo’ card, but seven days out Bracero has pulled out of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas championship event.
Ramirez (18-0, 13 KO’s) from Fresno, California, will now battle and defend his WBC Continental Americas title against New York State Champion and former World Boxing Organization (WBO) NABO lightweight and World Boxing Association (WBA) NABA challenger Issouf “Volcano” Kinda (18-3, 7 KO’s) of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in the main event of the card that will take place in front of a full house at the Save Mart Center Arena in Fresno.
Kinda recently headlined an ESPN show and is jumping right back in to a title fight that can change his life. The 28-year-old was one of Africa’s best fighters before coming to the United States with a dream to fight that lead him to turn pro in 2009 and quickly become one of boxing’s bright prospects and then a contender.
“I didn’t know things like this happened in the pros, I saw it in the amateurs but not in the pros. But I have been working really hard, and I’m ready for whoever it’s in the opposite side of the ring,” said Jose Ramirez after finding out of the change in opponent.
“Bracero obviously had second thoughts about fighting Ramirez but the show must go on. Kinda a former WBO / WBA world title challenger who has stepped up to come in the lions den and challenge for a title in front of 15,000 people on National TV and will leave everything he has in that ring on Friday night,”
said advisor/promoter, Rick Mirigian.
“No matter who the opponent, every fight will be important for Jose Ramirez at this stage of his career. I know he will have a tough challenge ahead of him on December 2nd,” said Hall of Fame promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank.
“There’s no task too tall for Issouf Kinda. He is survivor. He moved to the United States nearly a decade ago without a penny to his name and has since developed into one of the toughest, hardest-working, most avoided, 140-pounders in boxing. Traveling to Fresno to face a former U.S. Olympian in his own backyard would unnerve most fighters, but not Issouf Kinda. He’s had to adapt and adjust his whole life. He’s the perpetual underdog and he will shock the world on Dec. 2nd. Jose Ramirez is a fine champion and a true warrior, but this is Issouf Kinda’s time. He’s been yearning for this opportunity and he won’t disappoint. Gabriel Bracero’s loss will be Kinda’s gain on Dec. 2nd,”
added Kinda’s promoter, Jimmy Burchfield Sr.
The previous Top Rank event at the Save Mart Center headlined Jose Ramirez in December 2015 and was a sellout of 13,100. One of the most prestigious arenas in America, ‘Venues Today,’ a leading publication listed the Save Mart Center among its ‘Top Stops’ for venues in the 10,000 to 15,000 capacity category. The venue came in as the No. 1 ranked collegiate venue, the No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 12 based on concert grosses. Save Mart Center was one of seven SMG-managed arenas to rank in the Top 10 in this size category.
The Top Rank card will be televised from coast to coast in the United States on ‘Solo Boxeo’ by Unimas and Univision Deportes Network.
Tickets $75, $45, $23 plus applicable fees for the December 2 event are on sale now. Tickets are available at select Save Mart Supermarkets, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone 800 745 3000 or at the Save Mart Center Box Office.