Jose Ramirez faces Rances Barthelemy on Saturday | Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Jose Ramirez makes his Golden Boy debut and Vergil Ortiz Jr returns on the same card.

Jose Ramirez and Vergil Ortiz Jr return to action on Saturday night, facing Rances Barthelemy and Thomas Dulorme, respectively, in a DAZN double-header headliner from Fresno, Calif.

Ramirez is making his Golden Boy debut with the bout, while Ortiz is looking to take care of business and get to an August matchup with Tim Tszyu.

Will the favorites deliver this weekend?

Jose Ramirez vs Rances Barthelemy

Scott Christ (13-2)

Two most likely outcomes here:

  1. Ramirez shows up in good shape, goes to work, and his work rate is too much for Barthelemy, even if the Cuban makes the distance and all that. Clear Ramirez win.
  2. Ramirez is really as indifferent as he’s seemed over the last couple years, Barthelemy has enough of an argument for an ugly, 7-5 type of win, and Ramirez gets 9-3 and 11-1 scores anyway.

Ever the optimist, I’ll say (and hope!) it’s the first one. Ramirez UD-12

Wil Esco (11-4)

There’s just something to be said about youthful exuberance, and I think that’s going to prove itself evident in this fight. Barthlemy isn’t a big puncher and I believe his boxing ability is waning at age 38. Sure, Barthelemy has plenty of experience mixed with some craft and awkwardness, but I don’t think that’ll be enough to stand up to Ramirez who I believe has been regaining his confidence since his loss to Josh Taylor.

Ramirez isn’t an infallible fighter by any means, but I just think he’ll be switched on enough to push a pace on Barthelemy that leads to a points win even if he’s not physically dominating by way of clean punches landed. I think his work rate carries the night. Ramirez UD-12

John Hansen (11-4)

I suspect Barthelemy will force this into his style of fight, and he can probably nick a few rounds doing it. But, he hasn’t won a meaningful fight in almost seven years, and I doubt he changes that this Saturday. Enjoy 12 rounds of old-school Cuban tedium! Ramirez UD-12

Patrick Stumberg (12-3)

There’s a spiteful part of me that wants Barthelemy to win, and not just because of my well-documented bias towards funny outcomes. Ramirez has more turned-down title fights (three) than ring appearances (two) since falling to Josh Taylor in 2021 and that lack of ambition just rubs me the wrong way. Headlining a DAZN show against Rances Barthelemy in 2024 might be karma enough, but I’d still love to see the script get flipped.

I’m used to not getting what I want, though. I’m not convinced the 38-year-old Barthelemy still has the legs to keep Ramirez at bay, and while Ramirez has defensive holes you could drive a truck through, it’s hard to envision Barthelemy hitting hard enough to keep him honest when multiple flush right hands from Richard Commey failed to make a dent. Barthelemy should hold his own in the infight for a while, but there’s just not enough juice there for the long haul. Ramirez steadily breaks him down for a late finish. Ramirez TKO-9

Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Thomas Dulorme

Scott Christ (13-2)

I thought, potentially, Dulorme might craft his way into hanging around, and also that Ortiz might want some rounds after getting none in his comeback earlier this year. But then it dropped that Ortiz is set to fight Tim Tszyu in just over three months — which is a hell of a good fight on paper — and I decided Vergil isn’t going to be here to make intercourse with spiders, as it were. Ortiz was always gonna get the stoppage, and now he won’t waste time. Ortiz TKO-3

Wil Esco (11-4)

If Ortiz is the fighter he’s been sold to us as, this is a fight that he should clearly win. Dulorme is capable but has proven that he’s not on the elite tier of boxing and this fight should give us a better indicator as to where Ortiz really stacks up in a division that’s gotten better lately. Ortiz comes to fight and will bring the pressure, and I think he’ll eventually break down Dulorme to force a second half stoppage if he’s in good physical condition. Ortiz TKO-9

John Hansen (11-4)

No version of Vergil Ortiz that actually makes it into the ring is going to lose this one. The only question hanging over him was the risk of another physical breakdown in training or weight cut. With the parties who would know already making arrangements for an August matchup against Tim Tszyu, all indications are that Ortiz is managing well and feeling comfortable at his new weight. So, how long will Dulorme hang around? Boots Ennis finished him in one, and Terence Crawford did it in six. Split the difference? Ortiz TKO-3

Patrick Stumberg (12-3)

Is it seriously too much to ask for fighters who move up in weight to actually fight people their size? We already know that Ortiz can smoke B-tier welterweights, and unless his muscle memory only functions when they’re literally liquefying from rhabdo, the lack of weight cut shouldn’t make that more difficult. Ortiz TKO-2

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