When the two undefeated super-lightweight champions, Ring Magazine, WBA Super and IBF champion Josh “Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0, 13 KO’s) and WBC & WBO champ Jose Carlos Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO’s) face off in an undisputed clash on May 22 at The Theater at Virgin Hotel, Las Vegas, the history books will be re-opened.
The winner of this momentous clash will become only the second undisputed champion at 140lbs during the four-belt era, after pound-for-pound elite Terence “Bud” Crawford in 2017.
Both fighters are unbeaten champions and in the prime of their careers. It is fights like this with all the marbles at stake, particularly in the complicated boxing world of 2021, that the pugilistic community constantly yearns for.
For once, the business of boxing is not preventing a great fight. Both men are promoted by Top Rank, which helped to prevent some hurdles, and the sanctioning bodies were being relied upon not to stick any inconvenient mandatories in the way, which they luckily complied with. Taylor’s WBO mandatory challenger, Jack Catterall, was also fortuitously willing to step aside.
“This fight can be right up there with the great fights. There are fights that become great in the ring, and there are fights that are great going into the fight, and maintain their greatness in the ring. This is one of those fights,” legendary promoter Bob Arum stated in an interview with Boxing Social when asked on where this fight ranks amongst the elite fights he has promoted during his many decades in boxing.
“This is a real fight with two fighters that have been dominating in the 140 pound division. Both great athletes, both have admirable stories, and now they’re fighting for supremacy. It really doesn’t get better than that.” Arum continued.
For a man who has promoted some of the greatest fights in history such as the legendary “Thrilla in Manila” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, “The Brawl in Montreal” between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, and “The Fight” between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns, to state this fight can rank up there with the great fights he has promoted, is a huge statement indeed.
One thing is undeniable. This fight provides both men with the opportunity to create genuine history.
If Taylor wins, he will become only the second undisputed champion from Scotland in history after the great Ken Buchanan achieved the feat in 1971. He would become the first Scottish or British undisputed champion during the four-belt era.
“It’s a massive, massive achievement if I pull it off. I believe I will,” Taylor told the Boxing News.
“So I feel that this is just huge for me and is going to cement my name in the history books and my legacy as one of the best boxers to do it in Britain.”
If Ramirez wins, he would become the first fighter of Mexican descent to be a four-belt undisputed champion.
Taylor has made more of an impact in the 140lbs division thus far, beating former champion Viktor Postol in more impressive fashion than Ramirez, before becoming World Boxing Super Series champion, defeating big-hitting undefeated champions, Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis, along the way to picking up the IBF and WBA titles. The Scotsman has swept through a talented super-lightweight division and is on the verge of becoming undisputed champion in just 18 fights. Taylor’s career has progressed at a sensational rate.
Ramirez does, however, have some impressive names of his own on his resume, with victories against Jose Zepeda, and another former champion in Maurice Hooker as well as Postol.
Ramirez is not fazed by Taylor’s impressive rise through the 140lbs division and is determined to create history.
“I earned my way to be in this fight, and so did he,” Ramirez said in an interview with Fight Hype.
“And I think it’s a good fight, and I think people should enjoy it, and I’m ready to become the first Mexican-American undisputed champion of the world.”
Taylor’s overall body of work alongside the skills he has displayed in high level fights in nine fewer fights than Ramirez makes Taylor appear as a more legit champion as things stand, but dismissing somebody with Ramirez’s physicality and will would be a huge mistake.
As Mahatma Ghandi once said: “Strength does not come from a physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
Taylor has arguably never faced an opponent with such doggedness and determination, although the Scot certainly does not lack any mettle and heart himself.
Taylor must be at his absolute best, using his footwork, explosiveness, power and precision at the highest level he ever has in order to emerge victorious.
Best vs the best. One champion. Great clash of styles. Skill and will. This is what boxing should be all about, and the fact this historic, potential Fight Of The Year candidate has gone so under the radar is criminal, but once the action is underway, there is a very real prospect of something really special happening.
Sina Latif of SimBoxx
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