IBF and WBA junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor fights WBC and WBO titleholder Jose Ramirez Saturday night.
Who’s the champ?
Well, both are.
But who’s the unified champion?
That will be decided this Saturday night at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, NV, when IBF and WBA junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor fights WBC and WBO titleholder Jose Ramirez.
Most experts are picking Taylor.
“I think Josh Taylor will soften him up with a spearing southpaw jab before systematically breaking Ramirez down as the fight progresses, putting together the necessary punches to force a stoppage.”
"Josh Taylor wins because he has done everything as a pro and amateur, he’s learnt a lot, had good experiences and always finds a way to win."
The oddsmakers have installed Taylor an almost 3-1 favorite.
Where’s the love for the undefeated Ramirez? He’s won 26 fights, scoring 17 knockouts.
Ramirez was last seen in the ring nine months ago against former champion Viktor Postol – who had lost two of his last four fights, one of which was to Taylor in 2018.
The thinking was the 37-year Postol was ready for the taking. Wrong. Postol was his usual crafty self. In the early going, he gave Ramirez fits.
Ramirez found his rhythm halfway through the bout, clipping Postol with consistent shots. Postol hung in, but Ramirez retained his title by majority decision.
The bout appeared to wipe away the memories of Ramirez’s impressive knockout victory over another former champion, Maurice Hooker, in 2019. Unlike the Postol fight, where he looked sluggish at times, Ramirez was on-point from the get-go. He floored Hooker in round one, and won by stoppage in six heats.
That same year, Taylor captured the IBF junior welterweight championship by defeating Ivan Baranchyk. The bout was a hard 12-rounder, with Baranchyk holding his own in the first few rounds. Taylor took over soon after, flooring Baranchyk twice in round six.
Four months later, Taylor faced the equally-talented Regis Prograis in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series. Prograis threw and landed more punches, but after 12 intense rounds, it was Taylor who was judged the winner. Taylor knocked out overmatched Apinun Khongsong last September in a "shake off the cobwebs" match.
Taylor, a southpaw, is a multi-talented boxer. He moves and jabs well. His 13 knockouts in 17 fights show he has pop in his punches.
Ramirez is all about pressure. He wants to make his opponent uncomfortable. He’s made steady improvement since joining up with trainer Robert Garcia in 2018. He’ll need to trap Taylor and work - which is easier said than done.
Taylor will box as much as possible, but he can be pulled into a firefight.
Ramirez will stalk and have to take two or three to land one. His activity could steal a round.
Taylor is more talented, but Ramirez is gritty.
Both are very determined.
As stated, the odds favor Taylor. He’ll likely win, but look for Ramirez to push him hard.