Junior welterweight Jose Ramirez, a 2012 U.S. Olympian and one of boxing's top prospects, was added to the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. III undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Top Rank said Friday.
Ramirez (16-0, 12 KOs), of Avenal, California, will face Manuel Perez in a scheduled 10-round bout on the April 9 card. Ramirez-Perez is likely to open the HBO PPV telecast (9 p.m. ET), though it could be bumped off the telecast once the entire card is set.
"Jose Ramirez is going into his first appearance on the big stage," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. "He represents the future of boxing. He is the fan favorite in his hometown [near] Fresno, where he is widely known. We now believe he will become very popular among fans throughout the United States and the world."
The 23-year-old Ramirez, despite not having faced any top contenders, has become a major draw at home, pulling in a crowd of more than 13,000 for an eight-round decision win against Johnny Garcia at the Save Mart Center in Fresno on Dec. 5.
"I feel honored and thankful for the opportunity given to me, and I will do my best to give my greatest performance April 9," Ramirez said.
Perez (25-11-1, 6 KOs), 31, has won three fights in a row since a third-round knockout loss to former welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz in December 2014. Perez, of Denver, fought to a 10-round draw with Brandon Rios in 2008 and suffered his only knockout loss when Rios knocked him out in the seventh round of a 2009 rematch.
Rios went on to win a lightweight world title and become a top junior welterweight and welterweight contender.
"His opponent recently fought Victor Ortiz and Brandon Rios to a draw, but the future is now," said Rick Mirigian, Ramirez's manager. "Jose is a special, once-in-a-generation fighter who will be focused, prepared and ready for his appearance on one of boxing's biggest stages.
"Jose is a champion inside and out of the ring, and there will be a ton of people from Fresno who will spend tens of thousands of dollars on tickets alone to see it in person, and many will watch at home as we have been flooded with ticket requests already."