By: Hans Themistode
Both Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez never hid their disdain for one another. During the lead up of their undisputed super lightweight showdown, they jawed back and forth at one another and hurled verbal threats. Even with their contest just a few hours, the two were separated during the hotel lobby.
Now, with the chance to throw on the gloves and settle things in the ring, both men went at it the moment the opening bell rang.
In front of a mostly jam-packed crowd at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ramirez got off to a fairly strong start. The normally slick Taylor attempted to stay on the outside and play matador to his opponent but consistently found himself on the wrong end of several combinations.
Seemingly pocketing the first round, Taylor would eventually settle in. The Scotland native boxed and played a more cautious game. The speed difference between the pair was obvious as Taylor hit his man on numerous occasions and glided out of the way of the incoming assault of his opponent.
In no mood to allow their showdown to turn into strictly a boxing match, Ramirez began bullying Taylor. He constantly pushed him back physically and let his hands fly. The natural strength of Ramirez appeared to be a problem for Taylor as he consistently looked in the direction of referee Kenny Bayless. With the hometown crowd completely behind him, Ramirez appeared to be pulling away.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Taylor changed the entire complexion of their contest. As Ramirez entered round six with all of the momentum behind him, he charged right in. Taylor though, knew exactly what to do, he pulled back, covered up slightly and let off a sharp right hand that saw Ramirez hit the deck. While he may have picked up a 10-8 round, Ramirez appeared to be just fine. That is, until the following round.
In what was turning into a fairly even eighth, both men began fighting on the inside. As they clinched up and attempted to break away, Taylor scored a left uppercut that saw Ramirez hit the deck again. Unlike the first knockdown where Ramirez bounced right back to his feet, the California native was visibly hurt. He spent most of the round clinching and holding as he attempted to make it to the final bell.
Not completely there mentally, Taylor took full advantage. He pushed the pace and forced Ramirez to fight much faster. While he began banking rounds, Ramirez attempted to shake off the cobwebs, something he did successfully during the tenth round.
Knowing that he was trailing on the scorecards, trainer Robert Garcia attempted to motivate his fighter by explaining the significance of picking up the win. Ramirez would respond as he landed several big shots during the final few rounds which visibly hurt Taylor.
As the final few seconds ticked off the clock, Taylor threw his hands in the air and let out a scream, believing he did enough to pick up the win, he was right.
In somewhat surprising fashion, all three judges scored the bout the exact same, 114-112 in favor of Taylor. With none of his friends and family members allowed to make the trek halfway across the world with him due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Taylor patiently waited as his trainer, and cornermen wrapped all four 140 pound belts around his waist. In the process, Taylor continued to scream and shout over becoming an undisputed world champion.
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