Jose Ramirez (middle) poses with up-and-coming fighter Gabriel Flores Jr. (left) and multiple world champion Timothy Bradley Jr. (right) at Tachi Palace a month before becoming the WBC Junior Welterweight Champion. File Photo

published on March 21, 2018 - 1:19 PM
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The World Boxing Council’s newest world champion, Avenal native Jose Ramirez, will be back home in Downtown Fresno at this year’s FresYes Festival, where Tioga-Sequoia will unveil its newest beer for the champ.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., the world junior welterweight champion will meet with fans in his first Valley appearance since winning the title on Saturday against opponent Amir Imam, according to a press release from Mike Osegueda, one of the founders of FresYes Festival.

“It will be an honor to see thousands of people at FresYes Fest and share this victory with them,” Ramirez said. “It wasn’t just me — everyone from the Central Valley won that night.”

The collaboration between Tioga-Sequoia, Osegueda and New Rock 104.1 chose Ramirez as this year’s tribute after his victory.

“At FresYes Fest, we highlight the best of Fresno and the Central Valley and Jose certainly fits in that category,” said Michael Cruz, president of Tioga-Sequoia. “We’re thrilled that he’s choosing FresYes Fest for his first appearance. We encourage everyone to come celebrate him and our great community.”

Along with the meet-and-greet, the brewery will be serving Pride of the Valley: World Champ IPA, a new beer just for the occasion. All of the sales from the night will go to fund the building of a church in Avenal, Ramirez’ home town.

“It will help make a bigger church for the community,” Ramirez said. “The one there now is too small and people stand up during mass or even listen outside. Building a bigger church will definitely help people go and keep their faith strong.”

Ramirez won his first title against Imam at Madison Square Garden for the vacated junior welterweight belt that boxer Terence Crawford abandoned to move up in weight.

Ramirez won by scores of 120-108, 117-111 and 115-113.

In an interview with Boxing Scene, Ramirez’ promoter Rick Mirigian and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum both indicated that Ramirez’ first title defense may take place at Chukchansi Stadium.

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