One of the most anticipated fights will take place this Saturday at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everything will be on the line when Jose Carlos Ramirez and Josh Taylor face each other in the junior welterweight division.
The fight will be shown live on ESPN and is being promoted by Top Rank. The winner will be crowned the undisputed champion and be known as the Lineal Champion.
Also, each fighter will have an opportunity to accomplish history. If Taylor wins, he will become the first Scotsman to win four major titles. If Ramirez wins, he will be the first person of Mexican descent to win all four major titles.
Both fighters started boxing at a young age and were both outstanding amateurs. As a matter of fact, both fighters earned their spot in the 2012 Olympic Games. Taylor represented the United Kingdom while Ramirez represented the USA.
After the Olympic Games, both fighters took different paths in their careers.
Jose “Jaguar” Carlos Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO’s) of Avenal, California, started his pro career immediately after the Olympic Games in 2012. He signed with Top Rank, and he started to build his career.
During his buildup from prospect to top contender, he became a big attraction in the Fresno, California, area. After being a pro for a little over five years, he finally got his title shot. In 2018, he defeated Amir Imam by unanimous decision for the vacant WBC World Junior Welterweight Title.
After that, his championship run was impressive. Later in 2018, he defeated the unbeaten Antonio Orozco by unanimous decision in an entertaining fight.
In 2019, Ramirez would have a great year. He first defeated the highly ranked Jose Zepeda by majority decision. Then in a unification bout, Ramirez scored his best win by stopping the unbeaten Maurice Hooker in the sixth round to capture the WBO title.
In 2020, Ramirez won a majority decision over the seasoned Viktor Postol. It was a fight that Ramirez did not look that good in, but he got the win.
Ramirez himself admitted he could have done better. There were many postponements on the Ramirez/Postol fight due to COVID-19. With all his accomplishments, Ramirez is now ranked as the number one fighter according to Ring Magazine. Now he will face the current Lineal Champion of the division.
Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0, 13 KO’s) of Scotland, United Kingdom, continued his amateur career after the Olympic Games. He became pro in 2015 and got to a quick start.
Taylor opened eyes when he stopped unbeaten Ohara Davies in the seventh round in 2017. Later in that year, he stopped former world champion, Miguel Vazquez in the ninth round.
In 2018, he defeated former junior welterweight champion Viktor Postol by unanimous decision. He then participated in the World Boxing Super Series Tournament.
In the quarter-finals of the tournament, he stopped the undefeated Ryan Martin in the seventh round. Just like Ramirez, Taylor also had a great 2019.
He outclassed the undefeated Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-final, which also earned him the IBF World Junior Welterweight Title.
In the finals of the tournament, Taylor had his career-defining win by defeating Regis Prograis by majority decision. The fight was a close, entertaining bout battle, but Taylor edged it out.
The win earned Taylor the WBA title and the Ali Trophy. Most importantly, Taylor won the Ring Magazine Championship and was the new Lineal Champion.
Taylor had one fight in 2020 and scored a first-round knockout over Apinun Khongsong, who was overmatched.
Now that the fight is here, who will win?
Both fighters are about even when it comes to size as both fighters are at 5’10”. Ramirez has a little bit of a longer reach at 72” compared to Taylor’s 69” reach.
Both fighters are virtually at the primes of the career. The stances for the fighters are different. Ramirez is an orthodox fighter, while Taylor is a southpaw.
Taylor is known as the better boxer of the two fighters. He has the quicker hands and moves very well. Ramirez will be the stronger and more aggressive fighter.
Both fighters have shown toughness and good chins. On paper, Taylor is the favorite to win the fight, but in reality, this fight can go either way. I think it’s a matter of who executes their game plan better.
I believe Taylor will look to counter and use his speed and movement to frustrate Ramirez. I see Taylor winning the early rounds.
Ramirez has shown to pick up the pace as the rounds go, and I expect him to do the same here. I believe the aggression and bodywork of Ramirez will show up in the mid-rounds, and he will turn the tide of the fight.
Towards the end, Ramirez will force Taylor into a brawl that will favor Ramirez. This fight can very well end in a stoppage, but I’ll take the safe bet and pick Ramirez by majority decision in a great fight.
It’s not often we get fights where the two top fighters of the division face each other. So since it’s here, it should be embraced.