Jose Ramirez and Jose Pedraza understand the stakes. The junior welterweights know that the winner of Friday night's 12-round main event at Fresno's Save Mart Center will likely receive a world title shot next. Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) is a former unified world champion seeking to return to the division's apex. (photos by Mikey Williams)


The journey back begins in the venue where he routinely packs crowds of more than 12,000 fans. Ramirez hails from the farming community of Avenal, about an hour's drive from Fresno.

Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, is a two-weight world champion with hopes of conquering a third weight class. He has won three straight bouts since losing a decision in his junior welterweight debut to Jose Zepeda.