Ramirez title defense off as challenger O’Connor hospitalized

Publish: 11:39 AM, July 7, 2018 | Update: 11:39:AM, July 7, 2018

LOS ANGELES  – Jose Ramirez’s first defense of his World Boxing Council super lightweight world title was called off Friday as challenger Danny O’Connor was hospitalized with severe dehydration.

The WBC said in a brief item on their website that the bout scheduled for Saturday in Fresno, California, had been called off after O’Connor “suffered various dehydration symptoms during the official weighing,” adding that he
was taken to hospital.

A post on the Facebook page of O’Connor’s promoter — Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing — said emergency medical personnel were called when O’Connor collapsed upon leaving a sauna Friday.

The fighter was taken to hospital with dehydration and possible kidney failure, the post said. O’Connor’s Twitter feed later carried a post showing a picture of the fighter in hospital, with a message.

“heartbreaking to be rushed to the hospital and deemed medically unfit to fight the day before fighting for my first world title,” he posted. “I let the idea of being a world champion cloud my judgment of my personal health.
Nothing is more important than my health.”

In a second post he added: “As I rest and recover with my family I ask for privacy. Thanks for all the well wishes and your continued support.” DeGuardia said O’Connor had been trying to shed a last two pounds (900 grams) to make the 140-pound weight limit.

O’Connor, a 33-year-old from Massachusetts with a record of 30-3 with 11 knockouts, was preparing for his first world title fight. Ramirez, 22-0 with 16 knockouts, was to make the first defense of the title he won with a defeat of fellow American Amir Imam in New York on March 17.

Since then Ramirez had parted with trainer Freddie Roach, and was to fight for the first time with trainer Robert Garcia in his corner.