Robert Garcia Believes Gervonta Davis Takes Care Of Business Against Josh Taylor: “I Think Tank Knocks Him Out”
By: Hans Themistode
If you were to ask long-time trainer Robert Garcia where Gervonta “Tank” Davis ranks at 135 pounds just last year, there’s a good chance Garcia would have placed him roughly third or fourth behind Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Garcia’s thoughts were never meant to be a slight to the Baltimore native but more so a compliment to how deep the 135-pound division is. With that said, after watching Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) move up two weight classes to 140 pounds and dismantle former WBA “Regular” super lightweight belt holder Mario Barrios, Garcia is now singing a whole different tune.
“I think I have him rated above Loma and Teofimo,” said Garcia on Robert Garcia Unfiltered.
This past weekend at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia, Davis walked into his showdown against Barrios with several physical disadvantages. Yet, despite giving up five inches in height and four inches in reach, Davis methodically broke his man down. The eighth round, in particular, was especially explosive as the Baltimore native dropped Barrios twice in the round. He would eventually score the stoppage win in the 11th to wrap a world title in his third weight class around his waist.
Although Davis is now technically a world champion at 140 pounds, all roads to claiming top dog status, however, run through Josh Taylor. Just last month, Britain’s Taylor unified all four major titles against Garcia’s fighter, Jose Ramirez. Following the win, Garcia tipped his cap to Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) for dropping Ramirez twice before ultimately eking out a close decision win.
With all four world titles safely draped over his shoulders, Taylor is considered the consensus top fighter in the division and has become a common name on every credible pound-for-pound list. Still, even with Garcia admitting that Taylor is a great fighter, when forced to make a decision in a hypothetical matchup between the two, Garcia went with the young knockout artist.
“I think Tank knocks him out. It’s cause of his style. When he makes that decision to be f*cking aggressive, the power is insane. It’s tough, cause Taylor is a good fighter too, that would be a great fight.”
Bob Arum: “Forget The Spence Thing, Crawford’s Biggest Fight Out There Is Josh Taylor And Teofimo Moving Up”
By: Hans Themistode
Bob Arum is a busy man. The long-time headman over at Top Rank is currently prepping for tonight’s showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Masayoshi Nakatani. He’s also promoting the highly anticipated heavyweight showdown between WBC/Ring magazine titlist, Tyson Fury and former belt holder Deontay Wilder.
Amongst other things, Arum is also hard at work as he attempts to build former Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson into a star. While Arum may have a full plate of responsibilities, one thing that certainly will no longer entertain is a possible showdown between his fighter, current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, and unified titlist, Errol Spence Jr.
For a number of years now, fans have held out hope that the two would finally enter the ring against one another to end the debate surrounding who is the best fighter at 147 pounds. Yet, after Spence Jr.’s most recent comments, Arum is now firmly of the belief that their clash simply will never come to pass.
“I most likely have two more fights at 147,” said Spence Jr. during a recent interview on Barbershop Conversations. “I’m going to go across the street [to Top Rank] to see what they’re talking about [for a potential Crawford fight]. If they are not talking about nothing, I’m moving up to 154. After the (Manny Pacquiao) Pacman fight hopefully we can make something happen.”
With Spence Jr. and Pacquiao set to face off on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena, Arum is fully convinced that it will be the last time anyone sees the Dallas native competing at 147 pounds.
“Forget the Spence thing,” said Arum to a group of reporters. “Spence knows he can’t beat Crawford and he’s going to go up in weight after the Pacquiao fight, so forget that.”
With Spence Jr. seemingly off the table for good, Arum has turned his immediate attention to his current stable of fighters. For the most part, fans have grown somewhat tired of watching Crawford compete against the competition available to him at Top Rank. While fans have become enamored with possible matchups for Crawford against the likes of Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas and several others – all of those aforementioned names are currently associated with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). And to this date, Arum has continued to have his issues with them in terms of working out fight agreements.
Whether Arum can work something out with PBC or not is ultimately inconsequential. In his opinion, he has the two biggest fights for Crawford, both now and in the not so distant future.
“Crawford’s biggest fight out there is Josh Taylor and Teofimo (Lopez) moving up,” explained Arum.
In the case of Taylor, following his win against Jose Ramirez a few weeks ago, the British native became the first undisputed champion at 140 pounds since Crawford accomplished the feat in 2017. He hasn’t shied away from the possibility of facing Crawford either but in terms of timing, Arum views that matchup as a real possibility in 2022.
As for Lopez, the unified 135-pound champion is seemingly years away from fighting at 147 pounds. He has, however, shown a clear interest in moving up to 140 pounds to face Taylor.
While Arum continues to discuss the future of Crawford, he is slowly turning his attention to the here and now. The former three-division titlist hasn’t stepped foot inside the ring since November of 2020 when he took on former belt holder, Kell Brook. Crawford made it look incredibly easy on the night, stopping the long-faded former champion in the fourth round. With regard to what could be next for Crawford, Arum revealed that they are currently going over several names.
“I have no idea. His people are now sorting through. There are plenty of good candidates. Welterweight, Jr welterweight, we’ll come up with the best possible opponent.”
Josh Taylor Believes Gervonta Davis Is Fighting For “Mickey Mouse Title” Against Mario Barrios
By: Hans Themistode
In just a few short days, Gervonta Davis will have the opportunity to become a three-division world champion. The Baltimore native is set to take on WBA “Regular” super lightweight champion Mario Barrios at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday night.
But while the entire Davis vs. Barrios promotion has emphasized the authenticity of their championship bout, Josh Taylor simply shakes his head incredulously.
“Mickey Mouse title,” said Taylor on his Twitter account. “There’s only one at lightweight!”
Taylor, 30, has grown annoyed with the mere mention that Davis is fighting for a legitimate world title. Just last month, the Scottish native became the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds when he took on former unified titlist, Jose Ramirez.
After dropping Ramirez in the sixth and seventh rounds, Taylor held on for a close unanimous decision victory. Considering that he now has all four major world titles sitting on his mantle at home, Taylor believes that no one outside of himself should be acknowledged as a world champion. With that said, the proliferation of world titles in the sport of boxing has allowed multiple world champions within the same sanctioning body.
Despite Taylor’s claims, Davis will still look to add to his championship status. Originally, the move up in weight for Davis came as a surprise. In his most recent ring appearance, Davis took on Leo Santa Cruz at 130 pounds. Although he would go on to win, Davis mentioned that he would campaign at both 130 and 135 pounds but failed to mention a trip to 140. Still, the hard-hitting two-division champion will try his luck against the much bigger man in Barrios this Saturday night.
As for the aforementioned Barrios, despite walking into their showdown with a five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage, for the first time in his career, he’ll be the underdog. The 26-year-old San Antonio native began his title reign after winning a hard fought back and forth battle against Batyr Akhmedov in 2019. Barrios has since defended his title against fringe contender Ryan Karl, stopping him in the sixth round in October of 2020.
Bob Arum Believes Gervonta Davis Has No Chance Against Josh Taylor: “I Don’t Think That Taylor Would Have Any Trouble With Him”
By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing can be a bit confusing at times.
Just a few weeks ago, Josh Taylor claimed every world title at 140 pounds by defeating former unified champion Jose Ramirez. The two battled it out at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. Taylor would go on to drop Ramirez twice during their showdown before ultimately walking away with the win.
Still, despite claiming all four world titles, Gervonta Davis will have the chance to call himself a world champion at 140 pounds in roughly two more weeks. The hard-hitting Baltimore native is scheduled to take on WBA “Regular” titlist Mario Barrios at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Considering that the two now compete in the same weight class, if Davis were to pull off the win, speculation has mounted that a matchup between Taylor and Davis could happen next. While Bob Arum, promoter of Taylor, wouldn’t be opposed to it, he doesn’t see that fight as very competitive.
“I think he’s too small at 140,” said Arum to a group of reporters during a recent interview. “I don’t think that Taylor would have any trouble with him.”
The size difference that Arum alludes to is glaring. If Davis were to ever step inside the ring against Taylor, he’ll face someone who holds a five-inch height and two-inch reach advantage. Regardless of those physical disadvantages, Davis appears to be prepping for life against bigger men. In his upcoming showdown against Barrios, not only will Davis face an opponent who is five inches taller than him but he’ll also have a four-inch reach disadvantage as well.
Although Arum doesn’t see a matchup between Taylor and Davis as competitive, the former multiple division champion was extremely confident in his abilities to take care of business against Taylor not long ago.
“I will stop you,” said Davis during an exchange with Taylor in 2019. “I promise you that.”
Not to be outdone, Taylor responded shortly after.
“Put the drink down and sleep it off wee man,” said Taylor.
The seeds of a matchup between the pair were seemingly planted several years ago. But first things first, Davis must take care of business against Barrios on June 26th.
What’s Next For Josh Taylor?
By: Steven Galeano
Josh Taylor inked his name in boxing history forever after becoming an undisputed junior welterweight champion on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Taylor added Jose Ramirez’s WBO/WBC titles to his IBF/WBA/RING title collection after dropping Ramirez twice before winning a close unanimous decision. Now the question looms.
What’s next for Taylor?
Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) of Edinburgh, Scotland became just the 6th undisputed world champion of the four-belt era, and the 2nd ever in the junior welterweight division. Moving up in weight to face the 1st ever to do it at junior welterweight may be his most lucrative option moving forward. Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) of Omaha, NE became the first-ever undisputed junior welterweight champion in August 2017, and would then become the WBO welterweight champion in his subsequent fight. He has held that belt since June 2018 and continues to seek a defining victory in the welterweight division.
Taylor could be that potential opponent. The elite fights in the division continue to take place in the PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) circle, as most of the division’s top fighters are aligned with them. WBC/IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) continues to land the biggest fights, now scheduled to fight Hall of Fame legend Manny Pacquiao in August. Other top contenders, such as Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, whom Spence Jr. defeated, are all affiliated with PBC and Al Haymon.
These are all guys Taylor would love to move up and face as well. Yet, he would face the same problems Crawford has. Being aligned with Top Rank largely excludes them both from PBC for the most part. Crawford and Taylor, in this instance, would be a perfect fight to make, especially since Taylor has already expressed interest.
If Taylor stood put at 140lbs, Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), who is undisputed champion at lightweight, could become an option. A fight between Taylor and Lopez would be massive, and Lopez would likely welcome the opportunity to get a straight shot at becoming an undisputed champion in two weight classes.
Taylor’s most likely option is to move up to welterweight, where he will inevitably fight Terence Crawford. The biggest question moving forward will be how fast Taylor and Top Rank are looking to make that fight. A few matchups to acclimate to the new weight would be ideal, especially considering how physically taxing the Ramirez fight on Saturday night was. Top Rank does not have many household names for Taylor to fight at 140lbs, so Crawford could instantly become the priority.
Mikey Garcia: “I Would Love The Opportunity To Get In The Ring With Josh (Taylor)”
By: Hans Themistode
Mikey Garcia had a vested interest in this past weekend’s super lightweight showdown between Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor. The two battled it out at Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada with every world title at 140 pounds on the line.
From the very beginning, a highly motivated Ramirez seemingly jumped out to an early lead due to his pressure and volume punching. His first-half success, however, was short-lived as Taylor scored a knockdown in both the sixth and seventh rounds. Pair that with his overall impressive boxing skills, and Taylor ultimately closed the show. With a ringside seat to watch everything up close, Garcia shared his thoughts on how everything played out.
“It was a great fight,” said Garcia during an interview with Boxing Social. “Both had success at different stages of the fight. Taylor had the edge with the knockdowns and that’s what got him the victory.”
Taylor, 30, was ecstatic once all five 140 pound world titles were wrapped around his waist. Now, the Scotland native has several options for his next fight. To name a few at the top of his list, Taylor explained that he would love a showdown with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Also, current unified 135 pound champion, Teofimo Lopez, has expressed a desire to move up in weight to face Taylor as well.
Although Garcia hasn’t been formally mentioned as a target of Taylor’s, the former four-division champion revealed that he would love the opportunity to step into the ring with him.
Recently, Garcia’s dream fight between himself and Manny Pacquiao fell by the wayside. After months of negotiations, Garcia was stunned when he found out that Pacquiao opted to face unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr., instead.
Now, the search for Garcia’s new opponent has begun. While no one has emerged as the leader in the clubhouse, if he could pick anyone, it would be Taylor.
“I would love the opportunity to get in the ring with Josh. We actually asked about that fight over a year and a half ago. He had other plans but if the fight was offered right now I would definitely take that chance.”
Josh Taylor On The Possibility Of Facing Teofimo Lopez: “He’s A Great Fighter But Actually Become Undisputed At Lightweight First”
By: Hans Themistode
A euphoric feeling immediately swept over Josh Taylor last night. The 30-year-old Scotland native packed up his bags, kissed his family and friends goodbye and headed to America to take on Jose Ramirez in an undisputed title fight at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The time away from his loved ones paid off as Taylor dropped Ramirez twice en route to becoming undisputed at 140 pounds. While most of the boxing world watched for entertainment, Teofimo Lopez observed from ringside with a more purposeful reason. With 135 pounds becoming increasingly difficult to make, Lopez has stated on numerous occasions that he fully intends on moving up in weight to challenge the winner of last night’s showdown to become a two-time undisputed champion.
Having taken care of business against all comers, Taylor has no issue with facing Lopez. But, first things first, he believes the young star has one thing left to do in his current weight class.
“He’s got to take care of business at lightweight and actually become undisputed at lightweight first,” said Taylor during an interview with FightHype.com.
From the moment Lopez defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko in October of 2020, massive confusion has ensued. When the two faced off in The Bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lopez held the IBF 135 pound title. As for Lomachenko, he was in possession of the Ring Magazine, WBA, WBO and WBC “Franchise” titles.
Shortly after winning the WBC belt from Luke Campbell in August of 2019, then interim titlist Devin Haney attempted to pursue a showdown with Lomachenko. With the Ukrainian more interested in facing Lopez, Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC sanctioning body, stripped Lomachenko of his world title and instead, created the ever confusing “Franchise” tag. In turn, Haney became the full belt holder.
Despite the perplexity of the situation, Lopez has continued to claim that he is the undisputed lightweight champion. In the mind of Taylor, however, he simply isn’t.
“He’s a great fighter,” continued Taylor. “Great talent but he’s got some stuff to do at lightweight.”
With a showdown against Lopez seemingly off the table for now, Taylor isn’t interested in naming anyone who could be possibly next for him.
After traveling to America mostly by his lonesome due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in the UK, Taylor merely wants to rest. Although he’s ecstatic about becoming an undisputed champion, he won’t allow himself to get complacent. Considering his name is unquestionably at the top of the division, he’s fully aware that he’ll have to take his training methods to a whole other level.
“All the years of hard work and dedication have paid off. I’m at the top now but I have a big target on my big. The hard work continues.”
Jose Ramirez Reflects On Loss To Josh Taylor: “These Are Some Of The Experiences I Gotta Go Through To Become A Better Fighter”
By: Hans Themistode
Throughout most of his young career, Jose Ramirez has shown a tremendous amount of discipline and focus. That, in turn, has allowed him to hoist two world titles at 140 pounds. Yet, when it mattered most, Ramirez was disappointed that he momentarily lost his attention to detail.
At the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada last night, Ramirez took on Josh Taylor with all of the super lightweight marbles on the line. After outworking his man during the first half of the fight, everything began falling apart for the 28-year-old as he was floored in both the seventh and eighth rounds. Both knockdowns proved to be important as Taylor eked out a close unanimous decision victory with all three judges scoring the bout 114-112.
While he may have looked hurt in the seventh, Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) explained after the fight that he was just fine. He simply chalks up the first defeat of his career to a teachable moment.
“I think I just got a little careless when it comes to the clenching,” said Ramirez to a group of reporters after the fight. “That was my mistake. I was aware. It was right after the clench and it was a short uppercut that he sneaked in there. I wanted to show that I wasn’t hurt. I wanted to try and win that round but it’s so hard to win a round after you get knocked down.”
Ramirez, 28, did in fact attempt to win back the seventh round. Although he appeared to stumble around once action resumed, he seemingly cleared his head and rocked Taylor on several occasions. Despite that, and his second-half surge, the two knockdowns were merely too much to overcome.
With the win, Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) became the unquestioned top dog of the division as he holds all four major world titles. Now, the UK native has a long list of options for his next fight. As for Ramirez, on the other hand, he isn’t quite ready to answer what he wants to do next when questioned. With the first defeat of his career still so fresh, the California resident solely wants to go home, rest up and work on his craft.
Even with both Ramirez and Taylor nearly trading blows before entering the ring, neither man has said a kind word to the other. Now, however, with their contest officially behind them, Ramirez holds no ill will towards his man. In fact, he believes the overall experience will benefit him down the road.
“These are some of the experiences I gotta go through to be more mature and to become a better fighter. I learned a lot from that fight. I tip my cap to Josh Taylor and his whole team and wish him nothing but the best.”
Josh Taylor Defeats Jose Ramirez To Become Undisputed
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.
Teofimo Lopez Has A Close Eye On Josh Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez: “Chasing Glory, Becoming A Two Time, Undisputed World Champion Back To Back”
By: Hans Themistode
As of late, Teofimo Lopez spends a lot of his time hitting the speed bag, working with sparring partners and talking with his father/head trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr. The 23-year-old is set to return to the ring on June 19th, against George Kambosos Jr. to defend his undisputed lightweight crown.
Yet, despite how serious Lopez is taking him, he’s broken away from the mundane routine of camp life to enjoy a historical fight.
Later on tonight at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez takes on IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine titlist Josh Taylor. As Lopez gets comfortable in his seat from ringside, he admits that his journey to Vegas isn’t all fun and games. Instead, it’s more of a business trip.
“Yes,” said Lopez during an interview with ESNews when asked if he wants to face the winner of tonight’s undisputed showdown. “That’s what it’s all about, chasing the glory and making more history. Becoming a two-time, undisputed world champion back to back.”
The list of undisputed belt holders is a short one. With that said, Lopez can enter a class of his own if he successfully moves up in weight to become an undisputed champion once again.
In October of 2020, Lopez pulled off arguably the upset of the year as he out-boxed and outmuscled former unified lightweight titlist, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Going into their bout, most observers viewed Lopez as talented but far too young to truly test the Ukrainian. Regardless of the doubts, Lopez told everyone who would listen that he had what it took to get the job done.
Now, with Ramirez playing the underdog role tonight, Lopez isn’t counting him out either. While he may have refrained from making an official pick, he did point out that Ramirez is more than capable of pulling off an upset win of his own.
“Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez have all the tools to become undisputed tonight. You have a boxer and someone who has a lot of heart and grit. I don’t think people should overlook Jose Ramirez. A lot of folks are voting for Josh Taylor because of his movement and the southpaw stance but I guess we’ll all see tonight.”
Robert Garcia: “(Josh) Taylor Is A Great Fighter But I Feel Confident That We Are Going To Win By Knockout”
By: Hans Themistode
Robert Garcia is someone who has an excessive amount of confidence in his fighters. With that said, he also doesn’t like to sugarcoat anything.
In just a few short hours, he’ll be manning the corner of unified super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez as he takes on fellow unified titlist Josh Taylor at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In preparation for their showdown, Garcia not only pushed his young star in training camp, but he also took the time to flip on the television screen and watch some of Taylor’s recent performances to jot down a few notes. While coming up with what he believes is a bulletproof game plan, Garcia couldn’t help but notice one thing when watching the tape.
“Taylor is a great fighter,” said Garcia during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He’s a great boxer, great skills, tremendous talent, he has good speed, good combinations. It’s a real fight, Taylor has skills.”
Scotland’s Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) has grown accustomed to hearing his name attached to such praise and adulation. In addition to the 30-year-old holding the IBF, WBA and Ring Magazine titles, he also took home the World Boxing Super Series in 2019. In his most recent performance, he took care of business against fringe contender Apinun Khongsong in a matter of seconds.
For what it’s worth, oddsmakers are completely in agreement with Garcia as they have tabbed Taylor as the slight favorite heading in.
Still, despite the long-time trainer giving Taylor his props, in no way, shape or form does he believe Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) will leave the ring tonight empty-handed. With several memorable performances of his own, including a sixth-round stoppage victory over Maurice Hooker in 2019, the belief Garcia has in his unified star is through the roof.
“We know he can fight,” explained Garcia. “But I feel like at the end, the one with the bigger heart, the one with the positive mentally is going to be Jose. In the end, that’s going to bring him in the win. I feel confident that we are going to win by knockout.”
Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor Will Take Glory Over Gold in Undisputed Title Fight
By: Hector Franco
Tomorrow night in Las Vegas, the two best fighters in the junior welterweight division will attempt to do something special.
Unified WBC and WBO champion Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) will face off against IBF and WBA champion Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) to determine the undisputed champion in the division.
Less than four years ago, Crawford became the first undisputed junior welterweight champion in the four-belt era when he knocked out Namibia’s Julius Indongo in the third round with a body shot in July 2017.
Unfortunately, even the term undisputed in the sport of boxing can be disputed.
This week, current WBA super featherweight and lightweight champion Gervonta Davis held a press conference to formally announce his move up to junior welterweight to take on Mario Barrios. That fight will be for a version of the WBA junior welterweight title.
The WBA’s insistent on having interim, regular and super champions in each division has caused the world title scene in boxing to become exponentially convoluted.
In 1983 when the International Boxing Federation (IBF) was first established, the man known as arguably the greatest junior welterweight in history, Aaron Pryor, became the inaugural IBF champion for the division in the summer of 1984.
A few years later, the WBO was established in 1988; however, that title took years to be taken more seriously. Fighters like Oscar De La Hoya and Marco Antonio Barrera gave the WBO title prestige and eventually joined the WBC, WBA, and IBF as one of the four major titles in the sport.
Whether a belt counts or doesn’t, is often held in the context of the era.
Jamaica’s O’Neil Bell is an often forgotten undisputed champion. In 2006, he stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck in 10 rounds to win the WBA, IBF, and WBA cruiserweight titles. He was the division’s first undisputed champion since Evander Holyfield ran the division in the 1980s.
Five years earlier, Kostya Tszyu took out Zab Judah in the second round to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion. On both occasions, the WBO title wasn’t needed to determine undisputed status.
The fighters themselves can’t do much about the number of titles in the sport. All they can do is step in the ring and perform.
Luckily over the last few years, boxing has seen more fights that had all four major titles on the line in men’s and women’s boxing with Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields, and the upcoming junior middleweight clash between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano.
The sports most significant current superstar Saul Alvarez may fight for the undisputed super middleweight championship should he meet Caleb Plant this upcoming fall.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the world title scene in this era, the winner between Ramirez and Taylor will have set a legacy for themselves at junior welterweight. They will join fighters like Antonio Cervantes, Julio Cesar Chavez, Aaron Pryor, and Kostya Tszyu as the best the division has produced in its history.
The bout also has nationalistic implications as Ramirez would become Mexico’s first undisputed champion with a victory, and Taylor would become the first from Scotland.
The current betting odds as of this writing have Taylor as a -264 favorite and Ramirez as a +200 underdog.
Both men have a similar resume with Ramirez being the better-known amateur winning the gold medal at the 2010, 2011, and 2012 United States amateur championships.
As a professional, Ramirez holds wins over Maurice Hooker, Viktor Postol, Jose Zepeda, Antonio Orozco, and Amir Imam. Against Taylor, his experience won’t allow him to be intimidated.
“I’ve never been a fan of opinions of who is the best fighter out there,” Ramirez stated at the final press conference. “Sometimes people don’t understand that, especially at this level, each fight is going to be tough. I always train like I’m the underdog.
“I always train like each fight is the biggest fight of my career. I can’t afford to lose. That’s always been my mentality. I always find a way to win.”
For Taylor, his resume backs up any bravado that he exudes. He was also a successful amateur with over 150 fights winning the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games.
Most notably, as a professional, Taylor won the World Boxing Super Series tournament in 2019, defeating the likes of Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Regis Prograis in the finals.
Taylor’s ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw, utilizing his footwork while maintaining a high work rate, makes him one of the toughest matchups in the sport.
“This fight means the world to me,” said Taylor at the final press conference. “Puts my name in the history books as one of the best Scottish fighters in history. I have trained so hard for this fight. I dedicated my whole life to the sport.
“I’m so confident. This is a pure boxing fight. I’m confident I’m getting the KO on Saturday.”
The world title landscape in boxing is confusing, but this Saturday night, none of that matters. Two men who have proven to be the best in their division, undefeated and in their prime, will face off for legacy.
Boxing at its best is the greatest show on earth. Ramirez-Taylor has the potential to be boxing at the highest level, and none of the world title organizations can change that.
Jose Ramirez vs Josh Taylor: Officially Prediction
By: Steven Galeano
On Saturday night, from Las Vegas, Nevada, boxing fans will be treated to a sure-fire action fight when undefeated super lightweight champions Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor lock horns. In the end, the boxing world will also find out who becomes undisputed world champion, and true number one of the 140lb division. The action unfolds from the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and will be live on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.
WBC/WBO champion Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) of Avenal, CA and WBA/IBF/RING Magazine champion Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) of Edinburgh, Scotland are so evenly matched, that a coin toss on fight week determined who would weigh-in and walk out first and second, respectively. Taylor won that coin toss, and to no one’s surprise, elected to weigh-in and walk out second. It is nothing more than a small morale booster, as both champions collide in the epitome of a true 50/50 bout between two elites.
This is nothing like in 2017, the first time a 4-belt undisputed champion was crowned at 140lbs, when Terrence Crawford easily destroyed Julius Indongo, and predictably so. Indongo even went to Crawford’s hometown for the fight, cashing out his two titles in the process.
Taylor has been widely regarded as the number one fighter at the weight, with Ramirez at two. Taylor’s unification win in Oct’ 2019 over Regis Prograis, where he also won the World Boxing Super Series, has generally been regarded as the bigger win over Ramirez’s unification win in July 2019 over Maurice Hooker. That is no issue, as both champions have since called for this undisputed match-up to prove who is undoubtedly the best.
Who wins? First off, the fans. These two undefeated champions were true to their word and are fighting at the primes of their careers, and title reigns.
My prediction? Taylor over Ramirez, close decision, either split or majority.
I believe not much separates both champions. They are both unified, undefeated and will not give up an inch when the going gets tough. This fight will become a war of attrition, and I believe Taylor will have enough tricks to outlast Ramirez. Ramirez does not receive enough respect for his boxing ability and this fight will display his entire arsenal, it just won’t be enough.
Jose Ramirez: “I’m Not Afraid Of Teofimo Lopez At All Man, I Might Stay At 140 Just To Face Him”
By: Hans Themistode
At the age of 28, unified super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez already has plenty of big fights under his belt. In roughly one month, he’ll add another when he takes on fellow unified titlist Josh Taylor in an undisputed contest.
Like all of his fights, Ramirez is placing all of his focus on the man standing in front of him. With that said, Ramirez is watching undisputed lightweight titlist, Teofimo Lopez, through his peripheral vision.
The audacious 23-year-old has said on numerous occasions that he fully intends on moving up in weight to take on the winner between Ramirez and Taylor. He also expects Taylor to walk away from their contest with all four world titles wrapped around his waist.
While Ramirez doesn’t have an issue with his prediction, he believes he knows why Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is siding with Taylor.
“I heard him say that he believes Taylor is going to win,” said Ramirez during an interview with FightHype.com. “But there’s a difference between what he believes and who he wants. He might have a reason why he’s saying that. He might feel that Taylor is an easier fight for him than I am.”
From the moment Lopez upset the odds and dethroned Vasiliy Lomachenko to claim every world title in the 135-pound division late last year, the Brooklyn native announced to the world that he would immediately look to become a two-time undisputed world champion. In spite of that, Lopez is also under the impression that whether Ramirez wins or loses, that he’ll ultimately move up to the welterweight division.
Admittedly, a move to 147 pounds has been on the mind of Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs). However, if Lopez continues to put words in his mouth, then the unified belt holder will elect to stick around a bit longer.
“The more he says that I’m going to move up to 147 and speak on my behalf, the more I’m going to stay at 140. I might stay at 140 just to face him. I’m not afraid of Teofimo Lopez at all man. I’ve been in this weight class almost my whole career but that Teofimo fight is starting to sound more interesting. It’s starting to really excite me.”
European Notebook: Boxing Overseas Full Recap
By: Oliver McManus
It was a busy weekend for boxing across the European continent with Mairis Briedis establishing himself as the best cruiserweight in the world. He cruised, pardon the pun, to victory over Yuniel Dorticos despite the slow start to claim the IBF and Ring Magazine cruiserweight title. Boxing Insider has a full recap here.
Away from Munich, there was an emphatic victory for Josh Taylor who stopped, mandatory challenger, Apinun Khongsong in just 46 seconds. Taylor battered the Thai with a short body shot which, whilst trademark Tartan Tornado, appeared fairly innocent. Khongsong collapsed to the canvas in apparent agony and stayed there… for several minutes. Even after the decision was announced he dropped to the floor once more and rolled under the ropes. Taylor looked as classy as he always did but Khongsong showed little resistance.
His Thai promoter confirmed there were no broken bones for Khongsong but he was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
The undercard featured an upset of sorts with Ionut Baluta stopped Davey Oliver Joyce inside three rounds to secure the WBO European title. Baluta came into the bout with a reputation for toppling the applecart: wins against Kyle Williams and TJ Doheny were against the grain and a clear statement of his abilities.
The Romanian was aggressive from the outset to hassle Joyce into discomfort. With a fast pace and non-stop ambition from Baluta, Joyce simply couldn’t settle. The Irish fighter was down once in the third before Baluta forced the stoppage with more punishment.
Former flyweight world champion Charlie Edwards returned to the ring with a relatively routine win over Kyle Williams. Edwards was in his first fight at bantamweight and didn’t have everything his way but was comfortable for the most part. It seemed as though perhaps he lacked the strength, for the time being, to be a real threat at the weight – super flyweight may be calling. Having said that, I’d like to see him in with Baluta next to get a good yardstick as to where he’s at.
Tony Yoka demolished Johan Duhaupas inside a round on Friday night. The 28 year old was in his first bout since September 2019 and wasted no time in bouncing Duhaupas around the ring. From the off, he showed his fellow Frenchman no respect: bulldozing him with heavy fists like it was bat work. There was plenty of aggression but not much finesse.
Duhapaus crumpled under the heavy artillery coming his way. He looked faded and it was hard to take much from the bout. Yoka looked good but did nothing to counteract the question marks that persist around him. The missed drugs tests carry a stigma, too, that’ll be hard to shake. Duhaupas should retire, Yoka needs to be hit before we can make our judgment.
Fellow heavyweight Filip Hrgovic also produced a no-nonsense display to cause Alexandre Kartozia to capitulate in just over four minutes. Kartozia was a late-notice replacement for Ondrej Pala (himself an uninspired choice) and showed little enthusiasm to be in the ring. The Greek opponent was bundling and unrefined in his approach to the contest – often stumbling forward in an attempt to smother Hrgovic. A huge right hand poleaxed Kartozia – pinging him right on the chin – and the lights were firmly out.
Headlining that card in Struer, Denmark was super bantamweight Dina Thorslund who defended her WBO super bantamweight title with a clear and convincing display over Nina Radovanovic. Thorslund moved to 15-0 and was barely bothered by her Serbian opponent who simply wasn’t on the same level as the home favourite.
MTK Global’s Golden Contract was the scene of some scoring controversy in Riga, Latvia. There was initial disarray when Arturs Gorlovs somehow managed to secure a split draw with Felipe Nsue in the cruiserweight division. Nsue, a late Spanish replacement for Damian Chambers, was absolutely dominant for six rounds: Gorlovs’ eyes were swollen by the end of the fight. An absolute disgrace!
The main event saw Ricards Bolotniks come from behind to beat Hosea Burton by some wide scorecards which took the sheen of an otherwise good fight. Burton certainly started off with serenity and after three rounds would have been confident of pushing on towards victory. Bolotniks did, however, start to come into his own rhythm for the second half and boxed well to regain his composure. The Latvian did ultimately out-class the traveling Brit who was gutsy but out-gunned. Two standing eight counts in the ninth round did Burton no favours and Boltoniks advanced to the Golden Contract final with scores of 98-90, 98-90, 100-90.