Among the fighters with Mexican blood that abound in boxing, Jose Ramirez, super lightweight world champion CMB and the OMB, is the one with the most powerful voice of all, thanks to his tireless activism to improve the working conditions of Mexican migrants in the United States.
Mummahad ali He was the archetypal boxer who as a social activist fought for the rights and security of racial and Muslim minorities in the United States, an agenda that he maintained until the final years of his life, transcending beyond sports to leave a highly respected legacy.
After the death of the African-American legend in 2016, boxing seemed to be left without that dual figure that could fight tenaciously down the ring for groups of people in vulnerable conditions.
It is then that the role of the Mexican American acquires greater prominence Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez, 28, who disputes tonight against the British Josh taylor the right to be recognized as the only undefeated, undisputed, linear, unified champion of the sport.
The two collide in Las Vegas, Nevada to strap on the super lightweight belts. The one with the CMB Y OMB, are in the power of Ramirez; those of AMB, OMB, FIB Y RING Magazine, he has them Taylor.
Returning to activism and social struggle is Joseph Ramirez who has clearly raised his profile as a champion of the social causes of Mexican migrants. Both of the undocumented and legal residents, who work in the agricultural fields of California. Right in that area where more than 60% of the fruits and vegetables that the entire United States consumes in a year are produced.
As the son of Mexican farmers who grew up in California’s Central Valley, Ramirez He himself worked in his adolescence right there. And he did it alongside men and women who had to work up to 10 hours a day under inclement weather and exploitative labor conditions to earn just $ 7 an hour.
Suffering those tasks in his own flesh and seeing how people older than him were physically exhausted over time without having recognized rights in the United States created in him an intense conscience to fight not only this cause, but to preserve thousands of jobs in this sector and ensure the availability of water in the long term.
Jose Ramirez began raising its profile in activism in 2014. It was just as a historic drought, which has returned, ravaged southwestern California, putting thousands of jobs and dozens of agricultural fields and production at risk.
In an interview for The Guardian, published on May 17, Ramirez explained to the British dean Donald McRae who uses his platform as a world champion to extend his influence. With this, he wants to open doors with local politicians, state congressmen and senators who represent California in the US Capitol.
“I am not a politician who has to play his cards well. I am simple and I know what is important to these families. I can tell the truth, “he commented to the English newspaper.
Ramirez worked with the California Latino Water Coalition to raise awareness among politicians so that they could finally draft a bill that gives them money to build dams. In 2014, it was approved as Proposition 1 with 76% of the votes in favor of this initiative.
The direct impact of José Ramírez
The lobbying and activism of Joseph Ramirez, organized small farmers and the aforementioned Civil Coalition created the conditions to integrate an engineering team to build the new Temperance Dam.
Ramirez had donated more than $ 3,000 to make this work a reality, in support of the San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority.
His efforts paid off. On July 30, 2016, the California Water Commission awarded state water bond funds in the amount of $ 171 million to the Temperance Reservoir and Dam project.
The action came during a Water Commission hearing recently in Sacramento, thanks to the efforts that Ramirez He started intensely in 2016, when he was 17-0-0 with 12 knockouts and was already beginning to gain prominence as a future world title contender.
Since then he has continued to raise funds, raise awareness and pressure politicians from the Republican and Democratic parties to change working conditions, provide water relief and help immigrant communities.
It was just in 2016, when the terrible drought intensified, when the activism of Ramirez it spread through all the agricultural valleys. He reached out to Congress and House of Representatives in Washington to speak out for Mexican migrants and Mexican American farm workers, as well as small producers in California.
And he did it right on April 16, 2019, two months after winning the WBC super lightweight world title against Jose ‘Chon’ Zepeda.
From that platform, Ramirez decisively integrated his agenda of migration and rights of citizenship or legal residence for the thousands of peasants of the land for which he fights from the civil arena. But now he has more influence to pressure politicians in the US capital.
“I am trying to reach a lot of people. Everyone has the opportunity to do something good in the world and hopefully they will take advantage of it. I know that I have been truly blessed. I have a beautiful family and the support of the people I really care about in my community. Boxing defines me, but I also enjoy sharing part of my glory with the less fortunate, “he said. Ramirez in order to The Guardian.
The Mexican American is united by the same roots of civil struggle as Ali: fight for those whose rights are not recognized in the classist, polarized and predominantly white society in the United States.
With Ali dead is Ramirez now the leading activist in boxing.
“It’s about protecting our people,” he concluded. Ramirez for McRae.
And after the fight with Taylor, where he is the favorite, his fight will continue beyond boxing. It seeks not only to transcend outside the ring, but to leave a solid base so that thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans can legally define their immigration status.