Boxing champ Jose Carlos Ramirez aids farmworkers in coronavirus fight

Boxing champ Jose Carlos Ramirez aids farmworkers in coronavirus fight

Jose Carlos Ramirez will be more than happy to defend his junior welterweight boxing titles once the threat of COVID-19 passes. Until then, the former Olympian and 140-pound boxing champion will continue with efforts to aid thousands of farmworkers near his hometown impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramirez of Avenal, Calif., was originally scheduled to defend his WBC/WBO junior welterweight titles against Viktor Postol of Ukraine on Feb. 1 in China. But the earlier outbreak of the coronavirus there forced a postponement. The bout was rescheduled for May 9 in Fresno, Calif., but is now postponed indefinitely as the virus spreads through America.

There is talk of resuming professional boxing in a studio environment without a live audience and a Ramirez-Postol matchup would be at the top of the list. In the meantime, Ramirez has turned his focus to aiding farmworkers in the Central Valley who are still working the fields during the pandemic and don’t have the time or means to get their basic supplies.

“I wanted to do something for those people who are doing their part by continuing to work in the fields and put food on the table for everyone in America,” said Ramirez, a native of the agriculture-rich Central Valley. “Their job is considered essential. They work from 5:30 a.m. until late in the evening and by that time there’s nothing left in the stores, things like Lysol, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper and other essentials for the house. We want to make sure they have the proper things they need.”

Preparing for Postol will have to wait. Ramirez, 27, plans to create about 1,000 boxes for distribution to those who work in the fields, packing houses, processing plants, dairies, animal farms, and other supporting industries. Each box will contain non-perishable food, water, cleaning supplies, vitamin supplements; and educational material on how to stay safe during the pandemic.

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