On-the-mend Ramirez won't fight until 2020

Unified junior welterweight world titlist Jose Ramirez will be out of action for the rest of the year because of a left hand injury that required surgery combined with a packed fall schedule that left him without a date when he would able to return.

Ramirez had surgery on his hand in mid-August, two weeks after he knocked out Maurice Hooker in the sixth round to unify two 140-pound belts on July 27 in Arlington, Texas, in the biggest fight of both of their careers.

Top Rank was planning for Ramirez to return for a mandatory defense against former world titlist Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs), 35, of Ukraine, probably on Nov. 30 on ESPN+ at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Top Rank opened the stadium for boxing on Aug. 17, with junior featherweight world titlist Emanuel Navarrete's third-round knockout of Francisco De Vaca.

However, Ramirez said on social media Wednesday night that he would not be available for that date and would not fight again until 2020.

"I can't use [my hand] until 6-8 weeks post surgery," Ramirez wrote. "I could be back in the ring in December, however due to no dates available that month we will be back in the ring early 2020. I just need my hand to heal and I'll give anybody a run for their money."

Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs), 27, of Avenal, California, won a vacant world title by lopsided decision against Amir Imam in March 2018, and he has made three defenses, against Antonio Orozco, Jose Zepeda and Hooker. The big bout for Ramirez would be an undisputed title fight against the winner of the two-belt unification bout between Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor, who meet Oct. 26 at the O2 Arena in London in the final of the eight-man World Boxing Super Series tournament.

Ramirez has expressed interest in fighting the winner, and Prograis has been vocal about wanting to unify with him as well.