The decade-plus Bob Arum’s company spent promoting Jose Ramirez’s career was among the more pleasant experiences of Arum’s almost 60 years in boxing.

Arum has no hard feelings for Ramirez, who won the WBC and WBO 140-pound championships, regularly drew large crowds in Fresno, California, and made millions during their time together. The 92-year-old promoter does think, though, that Ramirez made a mistake when he decided recently to leave Arum’s company, Top Rank Inc., to work with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

Ramirez, 31, signed a multi-bout agreement with Golden Boy, which was announced Saturday night, after turning down a $2 million offer from Top Rank to fight Teofimo Lopez on February 8. In addition to that eight-figure purse and fighting again on a highly exposed platform (ESPN), opposing Lopez would’ve presented Ramirez (28-1, 18 KOs) with an opportunity to regain the WBO junior welterweight title Ramirez lost to Josh Taylor in their 140-pound title unification fight in May 2021 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) upset Scotland’s Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision June 10 and left The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York as a two-weight world champion. Top Rank also assured Ramirez a comeback bout for a minimum of $750,000 if he would’ve accepted the Lopez bout and accompanying contract extension.

The 2012 U.S. Olympian is expected to make at least $1 million for his Golden Boy debut, but the date and opponent for that bout haven’t been solidified.

The former unified 140-pound champion will definitely face a less imposing opponent than Lopez. The Brooklyn-born, Las Vegas-based Lopez will instead defend his WBO belt against Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs), of Worcester, Massachusetts, in a 12-round main event ESPN will televise February 8 from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

Arum blamed Ramirez’s manager, Rick Mirigian, for Ramirez’s split with Top Rank, though he didn’t mention Mirigian by name.

“You gotta ask his manager,” Arum told “You know, sometimes they get involved with managers that really don’t understand the business and don’t know what they’re doing. But I don’t wanna say anything bad against Jose because I think he’s, among fighters and among people, he’s a wonderful young man.

“Whether his manager has guided him correctly or not remains to be seen. But the kid himself is exemplary. He’s a great fighter and a great human being. But again, you know, sometimes they unfortunately get managers that don’t know what they’re doing.”

Mirigian also manages unbeaten 140-pound contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (29-0, 11 KOs), who made his Golden Boy debut Saturday night after he, too, parted ways with Top Rank. Undefeated 154-pound contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. (20-0, 20 KOs), another of Mirigian’s clients, is promoted by Golden Boy as well.

Regardless, Ramirez remains one of Arum’s personal favorites. Arum also expressed gratitude for the support Ramirez received from fans in California’s Central Valley, where Ramirez, an Avenal native, was raised.

“I love the people in that area, in the Central Valley,” Arum said. “They are sensational people. Jose and myself personally got involved in a lotta causes, like water rights and immigration rights. And I enjoyed my time with him. It was unlike the time you have with most fighters.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.