Jose Ramirez’s manager, Rick Mirigian, is a one-of-a-kind boxing personality who puts his heart and soul into the clients he serves. Yes, a Twitter or Instagram user might get around his skin from time to time, but Mirigian has been a results-based manager, who has seen over the past decade, Jose Ramirez, his fighter, headline in Fresno consistently, and as of recent in ESPN main event spots.
Running on the same night as a massive pay-per-view grudge match attraction, between super middleweight David Benavidez taking on rival Caleb Plant, many might have seen a boxing show on this night as doom and gloom. Not Mirigian, who is still forecasting not just a great card, but that this crowd will be bigger than any prior at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, for a boxing event.
Part of the trick and the charm of the tandem of Jose Ramirez and Rick Mirigian is how embedded in the community Jose Ramirez is. Ramirez is a relatable figure to the Central Valley. He goes to community events, young kids feel comfortable coming up to him and talking to him, Ramirez is seen in local malls, so when Ramirez fights the whole central valley rallies around Ramirez. This week, Ramirez was at the Fresno Boys and Girls Club, seemingly everyone knew Ramirez. You go outside, and you see murals in his honor. Ramirez isn’t just from the Central Valley, growing up in the central valley means you experience something to do with Jose Ramirez at this point. Ramirez isn't just a star-athlete he has a story that is relatable. People in the community see their family members in Ramirez.
“From the moment we came back from the London  Olympics was the moment I started that path [of community activism],” stated Mirigian. “We have been involved in our community since 2012. What I mean by that is, multiple times a year we raise money for various [charities], we give [tickets] away to people who couldn’t buy it, farm workers, kids, low-income situations, we have made it a priority to do those things. [Ramirez] is an accessible champion, meaning you’re going to see him at the mall, you’re going to see him eating out, you’re going to be able to talk to him on social media, those things make a difference."
As we get closer to fight night, the buzz around the fight hotel which mid-week was filled with conferences for working professionals has now evaporated into that of fight week festivities. Though it might not feel like Vegas, it feels like Fresno, blue-collar, proud, and supporting their own community. The ticket prices might not be that of Gervonta Davis versus Ryan Garcia, but Mirigian promises all that will listen that you will have trouble finding an empty seat within eyeshot, once his fighter Jose Ramirez enters the ring on Saturday night.
“Find a ticket, not buy a ticket,” joked Mirigian who was in the middle of fixing a ticketing issue prior to our nearly hour-long chat. “Saturday night will probably be the largest attended that has ever been here. The Save Mart Center, what most people don’t know is a top-ten arena in the entire world, not just California, the world. A top-ten arena in the world, and what I mean by that is the amount of acts that come through here, the level of the acts, and the facility itself. All of those are requirements to get into the top-ten arenas in the world. Ramirez will have filled a top-ten arena in the world, again, which is just an incredible thing, and hopefully, he takes care of business Saturday night. Commey is going to come forward, and be an aggressive fighter, [making an] aggressive fight, and that’s why I think [we will] see fireworks on Saturday night.”