Written by Tré Berry III | 05/20/2021
What more can you ask for, than having two top-flight boxers meet at the apex of their careers, while both in their prime, and with all the world titles to put on the table to be had by the victor in a legacy-defining fight❓ That is ultimately what we have coming to us in a couple of days, as WBC/WBO Junior-Welterweight World Titlist 🇺🇸Jose Ramirez (26-0-0, 17KO👊) will meet at the Virgin Hotels Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, against RING/WBA/IBF Junior-Welterweight World Champion 🏴Josh “Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0-0, 13KO👊) in an all-or nothing Championship main event.
The writing on the wall suggests that this may be a bout that will be revered, and discussed thirty years down the line as one of the standard-bears of the current generation. Both are hungry, skilled, and neither lack ambition, as they are well aware of what will be on the line when the 🛎️first bell sounds. The style and manner that each fighter hangs their hat on lends to the notion that this will be a war of attrition – One that will showcase brutal exchanges, cunning, grit & tenacity.
JOSE RAMIREZ AND HIS STRENGTHS
What leads me to believing we will get that type of bout? I will get to it. Now there is a lot to like about Jose Ramirez, and his approach to combat. The first thing that stands out to me is creativity as a combination puncher, and throws a wide variety of punches, and can alter its delivery in many different ways, according to his opponents defensive positioning.
He has a solid, educated jab, and his money punch is the cross up top, which he throws with great 🎯accuracy. He is one of the better body-punchers in the sport, typically on the ropes when he forces you to brace upstairs, then drops the left hook in under the elbow, and he does a quality job of cutting the ring off, and amplifying the mental pressure on his opponent.
Another component to the mix is the focus, aggression, and look in his eye he has when he is conducting business, possessing a predatorial instinct inside of him when he either sees an opportunity, or is put in a position with his back to the wall. In those characteristics spoken of in the previous clip, he reminds me of 🇵🇦Roberto Duran in those respects.
No he is not Duran by any stretch of the imagination in the overall sense, but many of the internal traits that he had, I’ve seen Ramirez hang his hat on, and more than anything, that is the reason why he is in the position that he sits in today, in addition to his ability to take a punch, and to dish ’em out.
JOSH TAYLOR AND HIS STRENGTHS
Most fighters today aren’t able to fight at all three distances – that being inside, mid-distance, and on the perimeter…but Josh Taylor is one of the few that buck the trend. The southpaw best operates out of mid-range, but depending on the type of boxer he is facing, or what he is looking to implement, he will switch up his approach at a whim.
Despite being 📏5’11 (tall for the division), he is one of the better inside fighters in the sport, and is good in planting his lead foot outside, getting the leverage behind his right hook, and uppercuts both to the head and to the body, causing a conundrum for opponents wondering how to attack him.
He is one of the best in the biz with the counter hook over a lazy lead hand against orthodox fighters, and can get the big left hand in there quickly if he sees opportunity to split the guard. When in pain, he has shown a threshold to keep his focus, and will himself through the pain in a fight-or-flight response, such as was the case against 🇺🇸Regis Prograis, so much like Ramirez, mental and physical endurance is what they rely upon as the backbone to their overall operation.
JOSE RAMIREZ OVERALL WEAKNESSES
Sometimes a fighters greatest strength can also play against him, and become his 🎢biggest drawback when done with reckless abandon. When he initiates his attack, he tends to drop his lead hand, lean over his front foot, and his punches come out too wide, leaving himself to be countered with a cross up top, or the uppercut if you’re able to step outside, and shift around him during the sequence to fire it on the inside.
JOSH TAYLOR’S OVERALL WEAKNESSES
Though he possesses good 💨stamina, he tends to fall asleep through portions of a round, which in his case, indicates a lack of concentration at times, often fighting in bursts through chunks of the round instead of delivering a consistent output.
It is a gift that he is able to fight at whatever distance he decides to, but sometimes he chooses the wrong distance to fight in accordance to his opponents type of skillset, making it more difficult for him to navigate through sequences, and presents unnecessary opportunities to present itself.
HOW IT ALL BREAKS DOWN ON SATURDAY
Josh Taylor via 📹interview has let it be known that he intends to stand and trade with Ramirez early to get his respect from the get-go, and stated that he sees where he can attack him. Ramirez understands that he has to stand his ground, and be the boss in the pit, and make Taylor change his tune.
Now, in the case of Taylor, if he lives too much on the inside and middle distance, it gives Ramirez extra opportunity to string his shots together, and it he goes through his periodic lulls while standing in the firing range, Ramirez can do accumulative damage through the rounds with a high rate of activity, and a barrage of punching power.
Ramirez needs to be careful about opening too much due to his defensive deficiency when he lets his hands go, however he can’t afford to bottle up, as this bout may be won that will be won on attrition. He doesn’t fight well backing up, and if Taylor can exert his will inside, then it would put him into no-man’s land, so he has to hurt Josh early to get him to hesitate.
Both have power, but not what I would call true one-punch power. Ramirez hits hard, but he doesn’t hit as hard as Regis Prograis, who inflicted extensive damage on Taylor, though the Scot ⛈️weathered the storm, and took the power, so Jose will have to come with sheer volume to get the job done.
HISTORICAL FIGHT STYLE COMPARISON
A historical reference that I will use to fit the style of fight that I expect to break out is when 🇺🇸Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and 🇵🇦Roberto Duran met up for their Middleweight legacy match thirty-eight years ago back in 1983. The fight was one that I could sum up as a war, masquerading as a technical ♞♚chess-match, as both fought often from mid-distance, looking to exert themselves as the superior boxer, and mixing in a few violent exchanges when they ventured inside.
For Hagler in this callback, picture Taylor as a “B” version of him, and do the same with Ramirez, viewed as a “B” version of Duran. In a multitude of ways, their styles do coincide with what Duran, and Hagler brought to the table, and I believe, all factors involved, we will get a high octane, entertaining boxing match set to produce lasting memories, and moments of vulnerability for both, as they will go for the gusto.
NOW TO REVEAL MY PICK FOR THIS FIGHT
|| PREDICTION – I believe Taylor will test his merit early and try to bully Ramirez, but he will find that doing that will ultimately fail, and Ramirez will get the slight upper hand in the first 3 rounds. From there, Taylor will adapt his game, box from mid-distance and outside, playing the role of the counterpuncher, and making Ramirez pay for his aggression.
It will be a war in the trenches, but Taylor’s superior ring IQ will start to show by about round 8, and on. Ramirez, understanding that his grasp on the bout is starting to slip, gets more aggressive, and hurts Taylor badly late.
While buzzed, Taylor endures the late peril, musters up what he has left, and finishes stronger than Ramirez in the waning rounds. Both boxers, bloodied and bruised, get to the final bell, and raise their hands, believing they won the fight, and both getting a rousing ovation from an appreciative crowd.
( JOSH TAYLOR WINS COMPETITIVE UD12 VICTORY, 116-112, OR 115-113 FOR TAYLOR TO BECOME UNDISPUTED CHAMPION )