Robeisy Ramirez has long-term goals in place but short-term focus as it relates to the important part of his career.
The double-Olympic Gold medalist and reigning WBO featherweight titlist is often mentioned as a potential future target of former division champ Naoya Inoue. Both boxers are with Top Rank and fought on the same July 25 show in Tokyo. Ramirez didn’t really pay much attention to any fight that night other than his own.
That same logic applies at least through December 9 when he faces Guadalajara’s Rafael Espinoza. His bout comes less than three weeks before Inoue attempts to become a two-division undisputed champion when he defends his WBC and WBO junior featherweight titles versus WBA/IBF titlist Marlon Tapales on December 26 in Tokyo.
“Last time Inoue fought, I didn’t really have time to pay attention to what he was doing,” Ramirez told BoxingScene.com. “I was so focused on my opponent.
“I will definitely pay attention to this fight. It’s for all of the titles (at junior featherweight) between two champions. I will be tuned in but as a fan of the sport. I’m not even thinking about how it will impact my career.”
Ramirez (13-1, 8KOs) will attempt the second defense of the WBO featherweight title he won just this past April. The bout versus the 6’1” Espinoza (21-0, 18KOs) will take place December 9 at Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Ramirez is a -1100 favorite according to bet365 sportsbook, which lists Espinoza at +650 to win his first title.
Inoue (25-0, 22KOs) is an even greater favorite to fully unify the junior featherweight division. The four-division titlist is listed by bet365 as a -1250 favorite, while the Philippines’ Tapales (37-3, 19KOs) is a +725 underdog.
The odds in place make it easy to envision a Ramirez-Inoue fight in 2024. That plan is just too far out for Ramirez.
“The only fight that impacts my career is Rafael Espinoza,” insisted the Florida-based Cuban. “After I take care of him then I will figure out what’s best for us.
“For now, my only plans to watch Inoue fight is as a fan of the sport who loves to see historic events like that one.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox