Josh Taylor brought out a performance for the ages against José Ramírez, winning by unanimous decision, climbing up the P4P rankings and establishing himself as one of the best fighters in the world.
Now the 140-pound (Super-Lightweight) Undisputed Champion of the World, where does Taylor go from here?
Fought at The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Taylor won by unanimous decision, 114-112 across all three scorecards. I had the fight wider than that, scoring it 116-110.
As the fight started, Taylor was keeping Ramirez on the outside, establishing his range with a keep-away strategy whilst feeling him out.
Taylor slowly began adding left crosses and hooks, keeping himself and Ramirez busy, resulting in Ramirez barely throwing. Taylor continued his use of feints to draw Ramirez into close range. But as the early rounds progressed, Ramirez found his range towards the end of the second, landing jabs and uppercuts on Taylor with power behind the shots.
Ramirez was closing the distance, finding his combinations landing, causing Taylor to cover up. Digging to the body, Taylor seemed slightly hurt, throwing less in reply to Ramirez’s offence. Ramirez was stalking his prey, causing Taylor to back up whilst he took control of the centre ring.
As the early rounds closed, Ramirez kept closing the distance, throwing body shots that would halt Taylor’s movement. Ramirez’s jab was established and causing Taylor trouble with the combinations that followed behind it. Every so often though, Taylor would throw a body shot which hurts Ramirez but he just kept progressing.
With the sixth round upon, Ramirez established and comfortable in the fight, Taylor needed to turn the tide and boy did he do it. In the first ten seconds of the sixth, Ramirez lunged in and Taylor caught him with a left straight, sending Ramirez to the canvas. Ramirez replied well throughout the rest of the sixth round, making sure he was showing Taylor that he was still in the fight and not hurt. But then the dreaded seventh.
Ramirez seemed a bit more tentative, throwing less and exhibiting less intensity. Still though, as in the sixth when he was knocked down, whenever he comes in, Ramirez comes in square, allowing Taylor to throw first and land. With thirty seconds left in the round, Taylor lands a huge left uppercut, right on Ramirez’s chin, crashing to the canvas, the Champ struggling to make it back to his feet. With only twenty seconds left in the round, Taylor went for the finish but didn’t have enough time. Ramirez survived.
Taylor was fully in control of the fight now; Ramirez still slightly shook up and a lot less aggressive. Taylor continually took control of the centre ring, pushing Ramirez to the ropes on occasion.
Taylor was comfortable, fighting behind the jab, feinting when needed and peppering in power shots to show the judges he’s still active and keeping busy.
The way Taylor was using his left hand, straights, uppercuts, hooks, was a thing of beauty. Everything landing clean and with vigour, he was manipulating the guard of Ramirez incredibly well.
Going into the last, Ramirez needed a finish to come away as the Super-Lightweight Undisputed Champion of the World. It was going to be a tough ask, considering he hasn’t had a knockout past round 6.
Winning the last round, Ramirez couldn’t get the finish he needed. What a performance it was by Josh Taylor. Absolutely stunning. He’s climbed towards the top of the P4P rankings for sure.
Regis Prograis, a rematch that would excite the fans. In a fight that was a hard-fought battle, resulting in a Majority decision win for Taylor, the Prograis rematch would be must watch TV. Though most fans thought Taylor won the fight, there were some that believed Prograis had nicked the fight as was hard done by. For the undisputed title, this would be a fight that truly establishes Taylor as a modern Super-Lightweight great.
In what would be a P4P fight for the ages, moving up to Welterweight and fighting fellow Top Rank promoted fighter Terence Crawford would likely solidify the winner of this fight as the P4P number 1 fighter in the world. In terms of legacy, Crawford needs a name on his resume. Taylor wants to go down as a great. This fight will likely be easy to make in terms of politics and one of the most mouth-watering fights out there.