- ESPN Staff Writer
- Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
- University of North Texas graduate
Jose Ramirez, the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titlist, and Josh Taylor, the WBA and IBF titleholder, will meet on Saturday to crown the undisputed champion in the division.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), 28, of Avenal, California, last fought in August when he successfully defended his titles via majority decision victory against Viktor Postol — a fight that was postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while he’s a slight underdog against Taylor, Ramirez believes this is the right time for the fight, and a big opportunity to show he’s the best fighter in the division.
“In my mind, I’m supposed to win this fight,” Ramirez said. “I don’t let the outside noise get to me. No matter what you do, or who you beat, there’s always going to be somebody else out there. At this moment, that person is Josh Taylor.
“We both wanted the fight, and I respect him for taking on the challenge. Josh and I are out to make history, and I know I will be the better man on [Saturday].”
Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), 30, of Edinburgh, Scotland, won the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament by defeating Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis and took home both of the belts he currently holds, along with the Muhammad Ali Trophy. With a win against Ramirez, he can become the first four-belt undisputed champion from Scotland in the country’s history.
“Undisputed world title fights in Las Vegas are rare, special,” Taylor told ESPN’s Nick Parkinson. “I’m really lucky and privileged to be in this position, to land a fight of this magnitude. But I have worked my backside off to get to this position, I didn’t get here by luck, and I will do my hardest to make sure I make the most of the opportunity.”
Stay here for live undercard results and analysis.
Fight in progress: Raymond Muratalla vs. Jose Luis Gallegos, 8 rounds, lightweights
Martinez demolishes Metcalf to stay unbeaten
The first bout of the Taylor-Ramirez card went a little longer than one might have expected, but the expected outcome finally played out.
Javier Martinez, the undefeated middleweight prospect out of Milwaukee, picked up a vicious fourth-round KO victory over Kansas City’s Calvin Metcalf. Martinez landed a massive right hook from his southpaw stance that crumpled Metcalf (10-6-1, 3 KOs). The referee didn’t count for very long before he waived off the fight, as Metcalf was obviously hurt.
Martinez (4-0, 2 KOs) had a sizable speed and power advantage. While Metcalf tried to plod forward with straight punches, Martinez used an array of hooks, including several to the body, in hopes of hurting Metcalf.
Martinez served as a sparring partner for Jose Ramirez in advance of Saturday’s undisputed junior welterweight bout against Josh Taylor. Ramirez and Martinez are both trained by Robert Garcia, considered by many to be one of the best cornermen in the world.
Still to come:
Title fight: Jose Ramirez vs. Josh Taylor, 12 rounds, for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO titles and Taylor’s WBA and IBF titles
Jose Zepeda vs. Hank Lundy, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
Elvis Rodriguez vs. Kenneth Sims Jr., 8 rounds, junior welterweights
Louie Coria vs. Jose Enrique Vivas, 8 rounds, featherweights
Andres Cortes vs. Eduardo Garza, 8 rounds, junior lightweights
Robeisy Ramirez vs. Ryan Lee Allen, 6 rounds, featherweights
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