JOSH TAYLOR vs. JOSE RAMIREZ
Josh Taylor insists he is confident of getting the knockout against Jose Ramirez on Saturday as they went head to head at their final press conference ahead of this weekend’s undisputed showdown.
IBF and WBA super-lightweight champion Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) faces WBC and WBO super-lightweight champion Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, and will be broadcast live in the UK on Fite TV and in the USA on ESPN.
The winner of this monumental fight, presented by Top Rank to be broadcast on ESPN, will become the second undisputed super lightweight champion in the four belt era, standing alongside Terence “Bud” Crawford.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) has been a world champion since March 2018, when he overcame Amir Imam via unanimous decision, to win the vacant WBC strap. Following the Imam victory, he hired noted trainer Robert Garcia, and the duo has combined to go 4-0 in world title fights.
Ramirez knocked out Maurice Hooker in July 2019 to unify world titles and defended his belts last August. Then with a majority decision over former world champion Viktor Postol. Ramirez, a proud son of Mexican immigrants, who hails from Avenal, Calif., is an inspiration and catalyst for social development via change in his community.
He’s devoted his time and resources to myriad causes, including cancer research, water rights for area farmers, and COVID-19 relief for Central Valley field workers.
Like Ramirez, Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) fought as a lightweight at the 2012 London Olympics, where he advanced to the Round of 16. While he didn’t turn pro until 2015, “The Tartan Tornado” certainly didn’t hang around! He won the Commonwealth 140-pound title in only his seventh pro bout.
Taylor toppled Postol by unanimous decision in 2018 and won the IBF world title the following year with a decision over Ivan Baranchyk. He unified the IBF and WBA titles in October 2019, edging Regis Prograis by majority decision in a rugged and thrilling showcase masterpiece.
He made his first defense as a unified champion last September, blasting out and brushing aside mandatory challenger Apinun Khongsong in the first round. Taylor draws on this to etch his own history, as the first undisputed, four-belt Scottish champion.
The two men met at their final press conference on Thursday, and Taylor made it perfectly clear that he believes he will get the victory inside the distance.
Taylor said: “I respect every fighter that jumps in the ring. You’ve got to respect Jose Ramirez, he’s 26-0 and a unified champion and has beaten everyone in front of him, but as soon as the first bell goes on Saturday that’s all out of the window. I’m confident of getting the knockout.
“This is a great fight for boxing and a real, pure match-up. Ramirez has been on the radar for some time. He’s a good fighter and has been making waves and doing well.
“After I beat Viktor Postol we started thinking he may be my next opponent as I was the number one challenger for the WBC title, but then the World Boxing Super Series came around and I went into that.
“He decided not to go on it, so if he did enter then we could have already decided who’s the best by now, but instead we’ll find out on Saturday.”
Promoted by Top Rank, #RamirezTaylor will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (and simulcast on ESPN+) starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. live from Las Vegas’ newest world-class casino resort, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, owned by JC Hospitality, LLC.
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