Scotland’s Josh Taylor made good on his prediction of a win over Jose Ramirez, with the gifted 30 year old southpaw winning a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Ramirez in a superb fight in Las Vegas. Now holder of all four belts at 140 pounds – Taylor becoming just the fifth fighter in the four-belt era to become unified ruler – “The Tartan Tornado” has a very big future to look forward to. Indeed, after all he’s already accomplished, Taylor says the best is still to come.
Dropping Ramirez, now 26-1(17) twice to win via three identical scores of 114-112 (so as it turned out, the two knockdowns proved crucial; the victorious Taylor saying he felt the fight was not as “tight” as the three judges had it), Taylor was a clear winner. Ramirez – who is young enough to be able to come again, even if he is extremely disappointed right now – said he was “never hurt” but nobody is complaining about the decision (apart from it being too close).
So what next for Scotland’s first undisputed world champion since the great Ken Buchanan? Taylor, 18-0(13) has spoken of his desire to move up to welterweight, where he would “love” to fight Terence Crawford and/or Manny Pacquiao. We can more than likely rule the Pacquiao fight out, as the living legend is soon to fight Errol Spence in what is an enormous fight (and challenge) for the 42 year old all-time great. Win, lose, or draw on August 21st, and Manny may well retire.
Taylor said last night that he is not going to call out Crawford, merely stating how Crawford is a great champion and that “two undisputed champions going at it would be awesome.” Crawford has tweeted his congratulations to Taylor for his impressive winning performance last night. This would indeed be a great, great fight. Another option for Taylor’s next fight is a defence against his WBO mandatory challenger, Jack Catterall. Catterall stepped aside to allow last night’s fight to go ahead and he did say before last night’s duel that if Taylor wants a “homecoming” fight after his win he’ll be more than willing to accommodate him.
Taylor has expressed his desire to have a big fight at either Edinburgh Castle or at Easter Road – “I’ve not boxed in my home city for a few years so I would love to take a big fight back to Scotland,” he said.
Taylor also said he doesn’t think he has reached his full potential yet. That’s quite a thought, as special as Taylor has looked in fights, last night’s especially. Taylor is now a pound-for-pound entrant, if he wasn’t one before.