The WBO has ordered a final junior welterweight elimination bout between Australia’s Liam Paro and former unified titlist Jose Ramirez, providing Ramirez with 48 hours to agree to the fight. This comes five days after the WBO sent an invitation to Ramirez for negotiations to determine the next mandatory challenger for lineal and WBO junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor. Though Ramirez was previously speculated to be replaced by Shohjahon Ergashev, Wednesday’s move suggests there is at least interest in him seeing out the process.
Paro remains first in line to enter a final eliminator to determine the next mandatory challenger for Taylor, whose next defense will be against former unified and lineal lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. If Paro and Ramirez’s teams cannot reach a deal, the WBO will assign a purse bid hearing to determine promotional rights. The minimum accepted bid is $150,000, though such a fight is expected to attract far greater financial interest if even from the same two promoters.
Ramirez won the WBC junior welterweight title in March 2018, and his reign ended with his lone career defeat in a competitive but clear decision awarded to Scotland’s Taylor in their May 2021 undisputed championship. Paro previously commanded the top spot in the WBO 140-pound rankings but was never formally identified as the mandatory challenger. The 26-year-old Brisbane southpaw advanced to the top after a ten-round win over Yomar Alamo in their December 2021 bout. In his lone 2022 fight, he defeated undefeated Brock Jarvis via first-round knockout.