Sunday, March 18, 2018

Immigrant Rights Champion Now Boxing Champion


Stephen Magagnini for the Sacramento Bee noted that, after he finishes slugging it out with Amir Imam for the World Boxing Council's super lightweight belt last night at Madison Square Garden, Central Valley boxer Jose Carlos Ramirez planned to don a red baseball cap. It won't say "Make America Great Again." It will be emblazoned with the words "Pro-Immigrant and Proud." That same "pro-immigrant" message appears on billboards positioned along Interstate 5 and Highway 99, amid fields not far from Fresno. The signs feature an intense-looking Ramirez with his hands taped, throwing a left uppercut.
Ramirez's campaign began because he felt he needed to use his platform as a professional athlete to fight against what he sees as a lack of immigration reform. Since boxing in the 2012 London Olympics, Ramirez has proven himself to be an extraordinary fighter.  Before the fight last night in New York, he had an undefeated record (21-0 with 16 knockouts).
Ramirez won.  ESPN reports that "in a fantastic action fight, as Ramirez outpointed Amir Imam by unanimous decision to win a vacant junior welterweight world title before 4,672 in the Top Rank ESPN main event at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden."
Before becoming a professional boxer, Ramirez picked bell peppers for $7.50 an hour eight to 10 hours a day for three broiling summers in high school, he said.  “I speak with so much confidence on behalf of those who are afraid to speak out because my mother and father migrated from Mexico along with my neighbors,” Ramirez said. "A lot of people are afraid, nervous and vulnerable, and I’m going to continue to be their voice until something positive happens. We can’t leave it to the politicians.”

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