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Jose Ramirez- Please remember the name. Dude is hurtling towards fame. Boxing is this pugilist’s game. His opponents are lent to shame. He ain’t got time for no dame. Comparisons to others are lame. He won’t play that name game. His mission inside of the ring is to tame. And just what, you may ask, is this column’s aim? It is to specifically extoll the man’s virtues and to proudly state that Jose and I are from the same town.

Jose Ramirez is one of the top-ranked light welterweight boxers in the United States. Jose sports an impressive 21-0 professional record with 16 of those victories coming via knockout. In early November Ramirez battled undefeated James Reed and their bout was the featured event on an ESPN-televised card, which was held at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. Jose pummeled his left-handed opponent into submission, securing a second-round TKO setting the 25 year-old up for a probable title shot.

Top Rank is one of the most famous promotional entities around and owner Bob Arum is suggesting that Ramirez will fight for the vacant WBC 140-pound belt sometime in 2018. That championship bout could very well be held at Fresno’s Save Mart Center as Jose’s recent tussle drew nearly 14,000 fervent fans. It would be quite a hey-day and payday for Jose and the area, should Arum’s hopes come to fruition.

Jose Ramirez is a very humble man who never forgets where he came from. Jose worked in the agricultural fields as a kid and has first-hand knowledge of the plight which Valley farmers face regarding obtaining irrigation water for their crops and nut trees. He now has a platform and uses it to advocate for those farmers.

Jose Ramirez grew up in teeny-tiny Avenal, Calif., as did this scribe. We both ran the playgrounds of Avenal Elementary School as Wildcats. We both walked the halls of Avenal High School as Buccaneers. I have never personally met Jose, but I have followed his career and am immensely proud of his achievements both inside and outside of the ring. Anytime I have seen Jose interviewed he never fails to mention Avenal in his post-fight remarks. Jose Ramirez knows where he came from, and knows exactly where he is headed. Muy bien, Jose!

Odds And Sods- Quite a pedestrian Heisman Trophy race this year in college football as there is no real star that has separated himself from the pack, save for Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield garnering headlines due to his juvenile acts on and off of the field. Will Ronda Rousey ever return to the cage? I’m watching a covey of beautiful infant quail feed on the lawn at this very moment.

Will new UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly be able to get over the hump that former coach Jim Mora was unable to navigate? You just have to know that our world is changing right before our very eyes as Harry and Meghan make it official and the commoners in London don’t really give a flit. Duke freshman hoopster Marvin Bagley III is the most talented 6’-11” forward around and could very well lead his three other frosh starters and senior Grayson Allen to the NCAA title come March.

“Odds And Sods” was a 1974 record album by the very British band The Who. The University of Tennessee just wrote the book on how not to go about hiring a new football coach as the administration bowed to the Twitter twits who were convinced that Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was not the best hire. Anybody else free-fall a bit at Tom Petty’s passing?

Act now and you can get a great deal on event tickets and lodging for the 2018 Winter Olympics being held just south of the North Korean border. Karma: The University of Missouri hired freshman basketballer Michael Porter Junior’s dad as an assistant coach so that Michael would hopefully attend their school and the cat promptly injured his back two minutes into the first game and is out for the season. Have you ever given a flit?

The team nobody wants, the Los Angeles Chargers, have come off of the canvas and are poised to capture the AFC Western Division behind a lock-down defense and the arm of veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers. Have you ever been hurtled?

By Michael Elliott

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