Written by Tré Berry III | 05/22/2021
Talk can be redundant at times, but it is another thing together when you can back up your claims, and deliver in a way that leaves little doubt to your superiority over your opponent, and tonight, 🏴Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (18-0-0, 13KO) did exactly that, enduring the early pressure put forth by game 🇺🇸Jose Carlos Ramirez is (26-1-0, 17KO) who gave what he could in the bout, but was outclassed by a better marksman on this night. Upon securing the major victory, he defended his RING Title, and successfully bridged the WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Titles together to become Undisputed Junior-Welterweight Champion of the World.
HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN FROM THE BELL
There was plenty of testing via probes, feints by both in the first half of the first round, as they both had an eagle eye on trying to decipher the others maneuvers. Both began to commit downstairs, but it was Ramirez who offered up the first string of success with a productive combination that he let off while Taylor’s backside was to the ropes. The first round concluded, and it featured plenty of pinned up anticipation for what was to come in the following rounds.
Taylor early in the second let his hands go freely, and it appeared that Ramirez had a hard time clocking the left hand, and the right jab that Taylor was firing at multiple angles and getting to the target. Ramirez started to get a little closer by being able to cut the ring off, and had a successful spurt, though was it enough to change the scoring portion of the round? perhaps not quite.
The third round was fought more in closed quarters, and Ramirez started to work, and work often in combination in his most impressive moment of the fight thus far. Taylor’s left eye featured the start of some swelling from one of those right hands that Ramirez got in there. At about the 40 second mark, Ramirez buzzed Taylor and jumped on him, relegating Taylor to holding on heavily to snuff away the big attack that Ramirez had initiated, doing so until the bell.
A cuffing left hand from Taylor got Ramirez attention early in the 4th round. Ramirez quickly regrouped, and got into his chest and continued to fire the left hook downstairs, throwing a barrage of punches. Taylor landed a couple of brutal left hands to Ramirez body that momentarily stunned Ramirez, but Jose got right back to work, and went back inside, looking to dog it out. Thus far up to this point, the bout was already living to our expectations, and we were only about a third of the way through.
They say overall, bodypunching is a lost art in the sport of boxing, but I’m sure this fight was a callback to that contingent as it was a featured gameplan by both. In round 5 is when it became the predominant tactic from both, as they were looking to make an investment to break their opponent down for the later rounds.
Round 6, Ramirez shot a right hand, and Taylor slipped and countered with a massive left hand arc’d into a hook, and dropped Ramirez to his knees. He got up, and as Taylor was trying to open up, Ramirez showcased that he still had plenty of fight, and mustard behind his shots, and rocked him twice, the first time with a left hook, another time with a strong right hand over the top.
Taylor then began to fight a more intelligent fight, staying on the backfoot in the midrange, forcing Ramirez to open up, as his weakness is his defense when he opens up, and Taylor continuously peppered Jose up the middle with menacing intent – a helluva round it was.
Taylor in round 7 began to change his levels, and give Ramirez different looks, changing his sequences, and Ramirez looked confused as to how to adapt to it. Ramirez right eye began to show signs of swelling from the accumulative damage in the last couple of rounds. Taylor landed a massive uppercut that knocked Ramirez down again, this time on the seat of his pants.
He badly wobbled to his feet, and as Referee Kenny Bayless gave him the go to continue, Ramirez continuously wobbled the duration of the round, and was fortunate to get out of it.
Round 8 was a dark alleyway moment for Ramirez, as he was still groggy, and showed some doubt in his eyes for the first time in the fight, understanding the peril he was in. Taylor refused to get reckless, and measured himself, picking his moments to throw single power shots, putting his weight behind them, and looking to find the sweet spot. Ramirez, while getting beaten up, showcased plenty of heart and kept the effort up that had plenty of boxing fans galvanize to his side, but Taylor continued to control the action, at a bit of a slower pace, but that was due to him going into counterpuncher mode, and using Ramirez doubt against him – a smart tactic I’d say.
Ramirez simply wasn’t as versatile, and adaptable as he needed to be, and proof of that was him continuously getting hit with the same rear uppercuts from Josh. Round 10, Ramirez had a conversation with himself, and fought the most aggressively that he had since mid fight, but Taylor was ready for it, showcasing impressive head movement, and off-setting Ramirez with a sharp, constant right jab. Ramirez best moment in quite some time was towards the backend of the stanza, when he landed a power shot while Taylor was pulling out backwards – a rare mistake in his performance that Ramirez capitalized on.
The Championship rounds took the spotlight, and Ramirez opened the tool-kit in the last minute of the round, issuing up everything he had, trying to land the big one, though he couldn’t land it. He perhaps took the round, but by this point, he was so far behind in the scoring portion of the fight, that he needed the big stoppage. The 12th and final round, Ramirez pressed the action, while Taylor continued to feint, and fire the rear uppercut to the heart and liver, and did so all the way until the final bell. Both had their hand raised, but it was clearly Taylor who believed he had pulled it off.
Taylor’s face at the end of the fight was heavily damaged, but he could dawn it as proud battle scars, as he knew unequivocally he won the fight, but of course, being across the pond, nothing was entirely certain until the scorecards were tallied. As the scores were read, all 3 Judges had it 114-112, a little too close for my liking, for the action that took place, but it was expected, being in America. Nonetheless, they picked the correct winner, and Josh Taylor, Scotland’s pride and joy, became the Undisputed RING/WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Junior-Welterweight Champion of the World. Ramirez fought his heart out, but Taylor’s craft and pedigree was too much for him to deal with on this day.
As for Taylor, the question now becomes…is Josh Taylor the best boxer that is currently fighting out of the UK today? it was arguable prior to the fight, but he appeared to take it to another level, to where my personal answer to that is a resounding yes.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON JOSH TAYLOR’S MOST RECENT ACHIEVEMENT
Josh Taylor is the 19th man in boxing history to become Undisputed Junior-Welterweight World Champion, and the 6th to do it since the fracturing of the title since 1963.
He is also the 2nd male fighter to become Undisputed at Junior-Welterweight in the 4-belt era, following P4P monarch 🇺🇸Terence “Bud” Crawford for that distinction, who did it back in 2017 four years prior. He also takes the mantle as Scotland’s first Undisputed Champion since his friend and idol 🏴Ken Buchanan achieved it in the Lightweight division 51 years ago in 1970, and the 4th overall fighter from Scotland to achieve that feat.
A LITANY OF POTENTIAL ROUTES AND OPTIONS JOSH TAYLOR CAN TAKE NEXT
With him holding all RING/WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Titles, Taylor, if he chooses to, can venture up to Welterweight to take on the aforementioned 🇺🇸Terence “Bud” Crawford, and as someone like Taylor who is looking to be the best, he would go up against someone who literally in quite a few eyes such as Bud, believe to be the best fighter in the world. To add onto that, Both are under the Top-Rank banner, and its Promoter Bob Arum has already left the breadcrumbs out there for something monumental such as that to manifest.
Now if Taylor decides to stay at 140, then who knows, maybe a re-match with Jose Ramirez is still on the table? If Taylor decides to, he could give a shot to undefeated #1 WBO contender 🇬🇧Jack Catterall, as the Brit has been chomping at the bit for a shot at the big time. The RING-MAGAZINE #3 contender in the division is 🇺🇸Jose Zepeda, who picked up a victory prior to the main event, and he has priority over everyone towards getting a shot at all the titles left.
A re-match with 🇺🇸Regis “Rougarou” Prograis would be something that the boxing world would love, as their WBSS finale-bout has gone down in lore as a classic. Either way that Taylor wants to go, the road harbors more than suitable competition for the 30 year old primed Champion to take, and though now he holds all of the hardware, and made himself a universal fixture on everyone’s Top-10 P4P list, he still has higher plateaus to drive towards.