On Saturday night, the identity of the premier 140-pounder on the planet should be decided when WBA Super and IBF champion Josh Taylor clashes with WBC and WBO title holder Jose Ramirez at the Virgin Hotels Resort in Las Vegas.
After a week where one undisputed title fight was left in tatters, Taylor and Ramirez are perfectly poised to breathe fresh life into the sport with their marquee showdown. Taylor can rubberstamp his claim as one of the greatest Scottish fighters of all-time whilst Ramirez will be hoping he can prove his detractors wrong with a career-best performance.
Scot Taylor is a 4/9 favourite with Betfred with Californian Ramirez currently available at 2/1. A dispiriting draw is priced at 20/1.
So, who wins? Boxing Social’s intrepid band of writers and soothsayers attempt to predict the outcome on a night where one man should truly rule over all.
This could be an epic barnburner. Without a doubt, Taylor’s toughest fight to date. Ramirez hits hard. Very hard. If Taylor is able to keep a cool head in the toe-to-toe action, use his range and boxing skills, I see him winning either on points or late stoppage. – Paul Zanon.
I don’t believe Taylor will have to go to the well as much against Ramirez or show the kind of resilience that got him the nod over Regis Prograis. Taylor’s fundamentals are superior to Ramirez and alone could be enough to become undisputed champion. Ramirez can be timed and read by a fighter as good as Taylor and I believe you’ll see a difference in levels in this fight. There will be caution early on but I think Taylor’s timing and accuracy are going to chip away at Ramirez and down the stretch will lead to a late stoppage in the 10th. – Shaun Brown.
I think the Tartan Tornado swaggers into this fight assuming it’s another victory. He won’t be complacent – but he will be confident. I think Ramirez will hit the Scot with a few big shots and leave him questioning how much he wants that undisputed status… but the answer will be “too much,” and Taylor should win by a few points on the scorecards. – Craig Scott.
This is a great match-up that I wish was making more noise. Taylor possesses a tremendous mixture of grit and skill and seems to be most people’s pick. However, it’s worth remembering that he only just squeezed past Regis Prograis in a fight that could have gone either way. He certainly didn’t dominate and I don’t think he will dominate here either. I see a similarly tremendous contest to the Prograis bout ending in another close and possibly debatable decision. Not based on anything particularly rational beyond the fact that I think his skillset is underrated I’ve got a sneaky feeling that Ramirez will pull off the upset. – Luke G. Williams.
I can’t wait for this fight. I see this as seesaw battle between Ramirez’s strength, timing and conditioning vs the Scot’s artful inside game and combination punching. How the corners navigate their fighters through this one will be key – we know what Robert Garcia can do, less so Ben Davison. I’m expecting there to be nothing in it going into the championship rounds before Taylor pulls away to nick a hard-fought decision in a FOTY contender. – Phil Rogers.
When the going has got tough for Ramirez in the past, he has eked out razor thin decision wins against Jose Zepeda and Viktor Postol by utilising his size, power and work rate. Josh Taylor used a similar game plan in the middle portion of his clash with Regis Prograis. I feel the problem Ramirez will face this time is that when he is struggling with his technically superior opponent, he will not be able to tough it out using his usual tactics. Taylor is every bit as big at the weight, can match him punch-for-punch and has comparable power. Short of finding the perfect shot, I struggle to see how Ramirez will win. The Californian will be competitive in many rounds, but will come off second best more often than not. I can see Taylor winning via wide decision with the scorecards not accurately reflecting the competitiveness of the bout.- John A. MacDonald.
Jose Ramirez has had the benefit of the doubt in two close calls against Chon Zepeda and Viktor Postol, and I’d be a bit wary if this bout heads to the scorecards. Closer rounds will surely fall in the home fighter’s favour once again. Taylor is the superior operator in most facets though he has boxed less than a round since pipping Regis Prograis on the cards in 2019 and parted ways with the influential Shane McGuigan. The greater ringcraft and natural skillset of Taylor should be more than enough here over 12 compelling rounds, but never rule out a ‘Vegas’ decision. The draw is relatively low at 20-1. – Mark Butcher.
Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.