We have seen a number of undisputed title matches over the last few years in the male and female side of the sport, and this Saturday night in Las Vegas, Josh Taylor and Jose Carlos Ramirez put their Super Lightweight gold on the line to crown an undisputed ten stone champion.
Unified titlists, Taylor and Ramirez meet at Virgin Hotels on FITE TV pay-per-view in the UK, while ESPN broadcast in the USA.
WBA (Super), IBF and Ring Magazine champion Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) starts as clear favourite, and the Scot aims to follow in the footsteps of Scottish legend, Ken Buchanan, in becoming Scotland’s second ever undisputed champion and first in the four belt era.
The Prestonpans native is a special talent, and, after striking Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, he has been pretty faultless as a professional.
The 30-year-old turned over in 2015, and swiftly added good names such as Ohara Davies (TKO7) and Miguel Vazquez (KO9) in his first eleven contests, claiming both Commonwealth and WBC Silver belts along the way.
In only his twelfth outing, Taylor faced former WBC champion, Viktor Postol, and came through several gut checks to take a clear points victory in June 2018.
Since then, ’The Tartan Tornado’ has improved with each fight, and joined the World Boxing Super Series, stopping the unbeaten Ryan Martin to kick off his campaign.
His semi-final brought world title glory in another thriller, as he dropped IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk, twice in the sixth round, before surviving some torrid late rounds to take a points win in Glasgow.
The final saw him in a real 50-50 affair on paper with WBA (Super) champion, Regis Prograis, and it proved to be just that, as Taylor took a tight majority win to unify the division, and add the Muhammad Ali Trophy, as well as Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond titles to his collection.
That was in October 2019, and Taylor has been out once since. That was in September 2020, in what was a farcical first defence of the unified belts, when he knocked out Apinun Khongsong inside a round with a left hook to the body that left the Thai in complete agony from what looked like a pretty innocuous punch.
An undisputed title match was always in the works to follow, and now it comes to fruition this weekend in Vegas.
WBC and WBO boss Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) blows hot and cold, and the 28-year-old will hope to show his absolute best this Saturday night, and he will need to.
‘The Jaguar’ has been a professional since December 2012, but has only been at real world class level since he won the vacant WBC strap in March 2018, taking a points win against Amir Ahmed Iman.
His first defence was a decent one, as he dropped the then 27-0 Antonio Orozco twice on the way to a wide win on the cards, but then was severely tested by former Lightweight world title challenger, Jose Zepeda, taking a February 2019 majority decision to hold onto his belt.
The Californian then added the WBO belt to his collection five months later, dropping Maurice Hooker in the opener before stopping ‘Mighty Mo’ in six.
Ramirez, 28, has also fought once since then, and was given another stern examination by common opponent, Viktor Postol, rallying in the second half of the contest to take a majority verdict.
Prediction: This one could be an absolute cracker, with both capable of mixing things up, boxing where needed, and both not afraid to trade in the trenches.
I truly believe Taylor is a special talent that could well rule in multiple weights, and, although Ramirez will give Josh things to think about during the fight, the Scot can overcome some rocky moments to pull away down the stretch for a famous points win.
Zepeda returns against Lundy
Former Ramirez foe, Jose Zepeda is in action, and the Californian defends his WBC Silver Super Lightweight crown over a scheduled ten rounds against Henry ‘Hank’ Lundy.
Zepeda (33-2, 26 KOs), the number one contender with the WBC, won the belt in his last outing, in what was awarded the 2020 fight of the year by the Ring Magazine, climbing off the deck four times to drop Ivan Baranchyk four times himself before winning the contest by fifth round knockout.
Lundy (31-8-1, 14 KOs) is hardly an inspiring choice of opponent, with the 37-year-old 6-5 in his last eleven bouts.
Prediction: He is coming off two straight eight round wins, but Zepeda should have way too much for him, and can become just the third man to stop Lundy, somewhere around the halfway mark.
Big punching ten stone Dominican, Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10 KOs), also sees action, as he takes on Kenneth Sims Junior (15-2-1, 5 KOs) over ten.
Prediction: Rodriguez went the distance for the first time as a pro last time out, taking a competitive eight round win against Luis Alberto Veron, but he can become the first man to stop Sims, presumably early on.
Ramirez clashes with Allen
Amateur standout, Robeisy Ramirez is another hot prospect on the bill, and the Cuban two-time Olympic Gold Medallist meets Ryan Lee Allen over six rounds at Featherweight.
Ramirez (6-1, 4 KOs) has steadily impressed since being stunned by a loss on the cards after being dropped on his debut against Adan Gonzales, but he has since avenged that defeat.
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Prediction: Las Vegas-based Allen (10-4-1, 5 KOs) has never previously been stopped, and went the full ten rounds in his last fight, so Ramirez may very well need to go the full complement of rounds to take a comfortable enough points win.
Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas and Luis Coria clash in what should be an entertaining fight.
Coria (12-4, 7 KOs) was unlucky last time out, as he dropped Robson Conceicao, who was also deducted two points, but he was still beaten on a unanimous decision. Vivas (20-1, 11 KOs) was last out in a stunning one round knockout of John Vincent Moralde in October 2020.
Prediction: Vivas should take this one on the scorecards.
Two unbeaten Lightweight prospects are on the bill in Vegas. Raymond Muratalla (11-0, 9 KOs) may need the eight round distance to see off Jose Gallegos (20-10, 15 KOs), while Andres Cortes (13-0, 7 KOs) can halt Eduardo Garza (15-3-1, 8 KOs) inside their scheduled eight rounds.
Milwaukee Middleweight, Javier Martinez (3-0, 1 KOs) will likely need all six rounds to take the win against Calvin Metcalf (10-5-1, 3 KOs), with the Missouri man never previously stopped.