All 4 belts will be on the line when unbeaten boxers Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor enter the ring this Saturday night in an undisputed tilt at the junior welterweight division.
This matchup on paper pits a come-forward fighter versus a more versatile boxer which will only add to this ongoing argument among hardcore boxing fans, especially on the top level.
Can Ramirez’s constant pressure break down Taylor as the rounds go on? Will Taylor be focused enough to stick to a strategic game plan rather than staying on the inside?
The fight itself has been under-promoted by ESPN clearly, so let’s hope the NBA Playoffs as the lead-in help boost the TV ratings so the casuals can see this thing.
This week the attention has been on Deontay Wilder’s victory over Tyson Fury in a battle of arbitration.
The media and fanbase have put their two cents in as to why they aren’t happy with the outcome after being mislead by the powers that be thinking a Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua fight was all but done for August.
As the main event gets closer and closer, the hype for this on boxing twitter will start to hit a fever pitch before the first bell sounds.
Several keys will be discussed for each fighter’s best path to victory, but both fighters have earned their way to the undisputed bout, which will be broadcast on ESPN in primetime.
Jose Ramirez comes into this fight sporting a record of 26-0, with 17 wins coming via knockout. Two of his last six outings were stoppages, one over Mike Reed, and the other came against Maurice Hooker back in 2019.
Wins over Amir Imam and Antonio Orozco were impressive, no doubt, but it’s his razor-tight victories over Viktor Postol and most notably Jose Zepeda that deserve a critical eye.
Recently watching the Postol win, fully disclosure scored it 7-5 in favor of Ramirez. I felt comfortable that Jose had won that fight.
However, on second glance of his back and forth affair with Jose Zepeda once again raised more questions of him actually winning it. Zepeda troubled Ramirez with constant but not wasteful movement, something the book is still out on whether Taylor would be able to do over 12-rounds.
Zepeda’s constantly jabbing, circling, turning Jose at times even pushing Ramirez back kept him guessing. Zepeda’s hooks to the head and body were very effective, along with his counter lefts as Ramirez jumped in trying to force the issue.
All and all, the fight could’ve gone either way. Judge Chris Tellez’s scorecard was too wide at 116-112. For Saturday’s main event, the exact same crew that was on hand to judge Ramirez vs. Postol will be brought back.
Josh Taylor sits at 17-0(13KO’s) and was crowned the champion of the World Boxing Super Series by defeating Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Regis Prograis in the finale.
Taylor’s other win of significance came against Viktor Postol, and Josh was able to win by a bit of a wider margin on most fan’s scorecards and much wider results on the official cards.
Taylor had some struggles with Postol and, to a lesser extent, Baranchyk, but it seemed Ivan had him buzzed or bothered for a decent stretch in the closing rounds after Taylor scored two knockdowns in the sixth.
The biggest red flag in both fights was Josh’s willingness to exchange as if he wanted to prove something. Taylor is capable of showing good head movement with the ability to land meaningful lead or counter punches.
As of yet, Taylor hasn’t shown us he will fight in an almost copycat style to Jose Zepeda. Instead, Josh would rather bang it out in the trenches.
This boxing podcaster generally gives the opening few frames to the outside boxer when facing a pressure fighter. This won’t change with Taylor getting early credit for landing one punch at a time potshots along with a good steady jab.
Assumingly we will see Jose miss the majority of his power punches until he can establish his crisp jab. When that time comes, this fight will get super interesting and probably entertaining to take in.
If or when Ramirez finds a home for his power jab, look for Jose’s pressure to increase and hooks to land first to the body and then up top eventually.
Ramirez must attack the body and hips of Taylor in order to pay back the early rounds in dividends late. Just this alone could be enough for Jose to win a really competitive fight.
It will be up to Josh Taylor to use a blend of brute force on the inside, exchanging which he loves to do, and also be disciplined enough to use his legs to create distance rather than relying on just head movement up close.
Unlike Zepeda, Taylor tends to stay in front of his opponent and engage in a slugfest which tilts the balance of this even fight on paper to the side of Ramirez.
Another note worth mentioning is the location which, in all honesty, Taylor will have to win 7 clean rounds, maybe 8 to get the victory. Some thought Regis Prograis fought to a draw; others thought he could’ve nicked it, but the venue helped out Taylor.
I do see Ramirez getting off to a slow and somewhat sloppy start. Until I see it in the ring, this hack-of-a-scribe won’t believe that Taylor can stay smart for the whole 12.
A likely scenario that could play out is us fans at home giving Taylor the win 7-5 or possibly even 8-4 and the fight ending in a draw or split-decision for Ramirez. The uppercut for both combatants will be another key when the action is up close and personal.
My Official Prediction is Jose Ramirez by Split-Decision.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio.