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Injured Ramirez off card; Ruiz fills in

Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

Blue-chip junior welterweight prospect Jose Ramirez, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, suffered an injury to a ligament in his right thumb and has been forced to withdraw from a Sept. 26 fight.

Top Rank announced the injury Wednesday and said heavyweight Andy Ruiz (24-0, 14 KOs) will step into the main event in place of Ramirez (15-0, 12 KOs). Ruiz’s opponent has not been determined. The Ruiz fight will headline a Top Rank card on UniMas’ “Solo Boxeo Tecate” series, at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California (replacing the originally scheduled Ramirez fight).

Ramirez will return on Dec. 5 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, which is near his hometown of Avenal.

"I will be back strong and ready in five weeks,” said Ramirez, 23, who had surgery on his thumb last week. “I will be at the [Sept. 26] fight doing meet-and-greets, hanging out with fans, and look forward to watching a night of world-class boxing at Tachi Palace.”

Ruiz, 26, has not fought since a 10-round decision win against former world titleholder Sergei Liakhovich in December. Ruiz's handlers kept him out of the ring to work on his conditioning.

"Andy Ruiz has been training for weeks getting prepared to get back into the ring,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. “He is an action-packed heavyweight with firepower."