A fight that stood little chance of making its way to the ring is no longer available to the highest bidder.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that a purse bid hearing previously scheduled for Tuesday was canceled for the ordered Jose Ramirez-Arnold Barboza IBF junior welterweight title eliminator.
IBF representatives were only able to confirm that the hearing will no longer take place or is due to be rescheduled for a future purse bid. Top Rank representatives did not offer any clarification on the matter. Rick Mirigian—who manages both Ramirez and Barboza—did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking comment or confirmation on plans for either boxer.
The development marked the second time that a sanctioning body has failed to advance a Ramirez-Barboza fight. The bout was briefly in play by the WBO when it was believed that two-division lineal champion Teofimo Lopez would stick to his retirement claim after his June 10 title winning effort over Scotland’s Josh Taylor. The order was rescinded when it was confirmed that Lopez (19-1, 13KOs) opted to hold onto his WBO 140-pound title, though he has yet to schedule his next title defense.
Ironically, there remains the open—though largely unconfirmed—possibility that either Ramirez or Barboza next challenge the Las Vegas-based champ.
Not only was there any progress on this round, but news of the fight even being ordered came as a surprise to most in the industry. Included among them was Barboza (28-0, 10KOs) himself, who claimed he didn’t have any prior knowledge of the matter until it was revealed that the IBF scheduled a purse bid hearing.
Both boxers are managed by Rick Mirigian. Ramirez is promoted by Top Rank, to whom Barboza was previously signed before he became a promotional free agent earlier this summer.
Ramirez (28-1, 18KOs) last fought in March, when he scored an eleventh-round knockout of former IBF lightweight titlist Richard Commey in Fresno, near his hometown of Avenal, California. The former unified WBC/WBO 140-pound titlist has won two in a row since a narrow defeat to Taylor (19-1, 13KOs) in their May 2021 undisputed clash.
Barboza (28-0, 10KOs) last fought in a ten-round, unanimous decision win over former two-division titlist Jose Pedraza on February 3 in Glendale, Arizona. The win marked the fourth consecutive ten-round distance fight for the unbeaten 31-year-old Long Beach native, as well as his final fight with Top Rank.
Neither boxer has a fight scheduled for the immediate future.
Had the fight moved forward, the winner would have been the mandatory challenger to the IBF junior welterweight title. Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias (19-1, 19KOs) is the reigning titlist and will next defend versus Uzbekistan’s Shohjahon Ergashev (23-0, 20KOs) later this fall.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox