Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam to Fight for the Vacant WBC Super Lightweight Title at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and Televised LIVE by ESPN

Michael Conlan Looks to Extend Unbeaten Record in Front of the Irish Faithful

Ramirez-Imam Marks 2,000th WBC World Title Fight!

NEW YORK (March 14, 2018) – World title challengers Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam, and undefeated Irish featherweight sensation Michael Conlan, worked out for the media in advance of a special St. Patrick’s Day world title extravaganza, Saturday, March 17, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Ramirez and Imam will challenge for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Lightweight title, while Conlan (5-0, 4 KOs), a 2016 Olympian, will face David Berna in an eight-round special attraction.

The Ramirez-Imam fight will mark the 2,000th world title bout in the WBC’s 55-year history.

Ramirez-Imam, Conlan-Bernard, the interim WBC Light Heavyweight world title bout between Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk and Medhi Amar will be televised live and exclusively at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN and stream live on the ESPN App beginning at 5:30.

The undercard will also include the returns of Puerto Rican stars Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz, and Jose Pedraza in separate bouts.

This is what the fighters had to say.

Jose Ramirez

“I hope to go out there on Saturday night and demonstrate my potential against a guy like Amir Imam.”

“We’re ready for 12 rounds. We’re ready to face adversity if we have to. Whatever might happen during the rounds, we’re going to overcome it. The will, the motivation in me, there are many reasons why I’m fighting.”

“As a fighter, I want to fight the best. I want the top guys at 140 pounds. I respect the sport too much to call out any fighter. This is boxing. To me, the best should fight the best.”

“I had a tremendous training camp, sparring with very good fighters, some undefeated Russian guys who helped get me in great condition.”

“Imam has a good right hand. He’s a skillful fighter with a goodjab, but I’m focused on what I’m able to do. “

Amir Imam

“I was strong mentally before, but after taking that loss {to Adrian Granados}, I took a look at what I was doing. Now, I am going to take that title.”

“I don’t like nothing about him. I don’t care who he is. I just want to go in there and win the fight. Idon’t care about none of that. I’m not gonna like the guy I’m fighting.”

“I’ve been doing this since I was 12. I appreciate what Mauricio Sulaiman is doing for me, letting me represent the WBC. I look forward to getting the ‘W’ and taking that belt.”

Michael Conlan

“My pro debut at Madison Square Garden last year on St. Patrick’s Day is an experience I’ll hold deeply for the rest of my boxing career. I’m really excited to experience it again.”

“New York is really my home away from home. I have felt so welcome, whether it’s going to the Knicks game or having Madison Square Garden look after me. I feel supported. I have to thank the Irish for showing me the love.”

“I don’t know an awful lot about David Berna, but he has some power. You don’t have 14 knockouts in 15 wins if you don’t have power. Sometimes, he doesn’t commit enough. I believe that will be exposed.”

Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk

“For me, this is the biggest step up in my career, the most important fight in my career. I trained seriously, and I’ll do my best.”

“I haven’t seen a lot of {Amar’s} fights, but from what I’ve seen, he’s a really skilled fighter. I see in his eyes that he really wants the title. I expect a challenge.”

“I train with Vasiliy Lomachenko in the same gym. Of course, he motivates me, and I can see what it takes to be a great champion.”

Medhi Amar

“I’d rather be the underdog. I have less pressure. The pressure is on his shoulders. I have everything to win.”

“I know he is a good all-around fighter. I’m not impressed by anything in anyone, but I know he’s a great, quality opponent.”

“I’m going to give the fans a great fight. I would rather die in the ring than let the opportunity pass.”

Felix Verdejo

“I’m very hungry and motivated. On Saturday night, I will take the first step in reclaiming what is mine. I want to be back in the same position I was before.”

“Although I’m coming from a long layoff, I have been in the gym training very hard. Now I feel that I’m more mature physically and mentally. I will show that in the ring this Saturday”

Jose Pedraza

“I’m very happy for making my debut with Top Rank this Saturday. I’m motivated and with a high level of confidence”

“This Saturday everyone will see the Pedraza from before. That is a very skilfull and versatile fighter that practices the art of boxing.”

Christopher Diaz

“I work hard for all this. I love fighting at Madison Square Garden. I feel right at home and now even more that I will be fighting on the same card with my friends Felix Verdejo and Jose Pedraza. We are going to put on a great show for the fans.”

“I’m the show stealer. I’m going to steal the show again. I’m doing this for my country, and for my family. I want to be the best fighter in the division. I want to be a world champion.”

All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank