Garcia, Ramirez, and Prograis Lead 140 Rebirth

By Paul Magno on March 19, 2018
Garcia, Ramirez, and Prograis Lead 140 Rebirth
Jose Ramirez (r.) beat Amir Imam in a compelling battle Saturday night. (Photo: Courtesy)

Anais Nin may not have known much about boxing, but she was dead-on about the nature of life and man. In chaos, there is fertility…

As things turned out, the junior welterweight division didn’t stay dead for long at all.

After four-belt champ Terence Crawford vacated all of his straps for a chance to grab a piece of welterweight money, the division was ice cold and left in chaos.

But as Anais Nin once said: “In chaos, there is fertility.”

In a matter of just nine days, the 140 lb. division went from being a rudderless ship to a top-heavy, increasingly young and increasingly interesting weight class.

On March 9, hard-hitting and mega-cocky Regis Prograis, in a coming out party of sorts, steamrolled former two-belt champ Julius Indongo to win the interim WBC junior welterweight title.

The very next day, Mikey Garcia made himself a presence at 140 by beating IBF champ Sergey Lipinets in a spirited contest that had fans buzzing.

Then, the following Saturday, 25-year-old Olympian Jose Ramirez beat Amir Imam in a compelling battle to take the full WBC junior welterweight title.

Now, the junior welters boast Garcia, Ramirez, and Prograis at the very top, with guys like Terry Flanagan, Antonio Orozco, and Viktor Postol right underneath them. And one has to toss Lipinets and Imam back into the mix, too, because these guys showed plenty in losing efforts. Hell, if push comes to shove, wouldn’t Imam vs. Lipinets be a helluva good “crossroads” fight? There are lots of possibilities at 140 now.

A reluctant thumbs up also has to go to the WBC, who ordered Ramirez-Imam and Prograis-Indongo, the two fights that really ignited the division. It’s a sad day in boxing when the WBC is a greater force for good and for quality matchmaking than the networks or the sport’s own promoters. But the reality is that, without that push from the Mexico City-based outfit, Ramirez may have fought a softer touch on ESPN and Prograis would not be a mandatory half-step closer to a major fight.

Sure, the division is not as deep as some others, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an upper tier in any division that is as young, hungry, and stylistically-suited to producing war after war.

Politics could cock-block, of course, with Ramirez signed to Top Rank and Garcia eager to remain a promotional free agent. But hope springs eternal (for the fourth straight decade of this writer’s life) that boxing’s bossmen will realize there’s more money in making fights fans want to see than in pushing shittier fights under “in house” terms.

Can you imagine Mikey Garcia vs. Jose Ramirez? How about Regis Prograis making international waves by taking out Terry Flanagan in the UK? Imam-Lipinets? Orozco-Postol? The UK’s Josh Taylor is coming up as well. Walking Worldstar video, Adrien Broner, may also be able to squeeze into 140 for the right money score. There are suddenly lots of good fight options at junior welter and a fairly solid second tier to provide for some fun as well.

Fans and media often talk up the benefits of having one champion ruling a division and, yeah, that may be ideal. But we’re seeing for ourselves just how much fun things can be if that one dominant champ WASN’T there and everyone had to scramble up the hill to plant their flag first.

Anais Nin may not have known much about boxing, but she was dead-on about the nature of life and man. In chaos, there is fertility.

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  1. Koolz 10:37am, 03/20/2018

    all the fights are here but be warmed there are ads.

  2. nicolas 10:08am, 03/20/2018

    One fighter missed in the article. The man from Belarus who won the WBA title.

  3. Balaamsass 11:16am, 03/19/2018

    How’s this?....why don’t they trade partners…..Jose gets Indongo and Prograis gets Imam!

  4. Balaamsass 02:55pm, 03/18/2018

    At the risk of micro-aggressing the snowflakes on this site .....I say Jose Ramirez and his Mom should be invited to the White House!

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