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Josh Taylor not impressed with Ramirez’s performance against Postol

Image: Josh Taylor not impressed with Ramirez's performance against Postol

By Jim Maltzman: Josh Taylor liked what he saw from Viktor Postol last Saturday in his loss to WBC/WBO light-welterweight champion Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Taylor is one of the many people that felt that Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) didn’t look great in beating Postol (31-3, 12 KOs) by a 12 round majority decision at ‘The Bubble’ at MGM Grand.

While you can’t call this a robbery, it wasn’t the type of performance that Ramirez needed heading into the Taylor fight. It would have been better for Ramirez if he were facing Taylor coming off of his sixth-round knockout win over WBO Maurice Hooker last year in July.

Josh Taylor could be the favorite

The way Ramirez looked against Postol, the oddsmakers, and the boxing fans will be picking Taylor as a clear favorite to beat him. What we saw from Ramirez last Saturday, he put in the same effort than he did in his narrow 12 round majority decision win over Jose Zepeda last year in March.

Taylor looked a lot better beating Postol in June 2018 than Ramirez did. Josh defeated Postol by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 117-110, 118-110, and 119-108.

A lot of fans saw the Ramirez vs. Postol contest as a draw or a defeat by Jose. After the fight, Ramirez, 28, admitted that he wasn’t on top of his game for the contest, and he blamed it on various things.

IBF/WBA 140lb champion Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) and Ramirez could be meeting up this year in a unification if Josh wins his fight next month against Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) on September 26.

Ramirez was to get the win over Postol last Saturday because it looked like he lost the fight in the eyes of many people. It was one of those types of matches that deserves a rematch to clear up the controversy, but that’s not going to happen—there’ too much money in a unification match between Ramirez and Taylor.

Ramirez fails to impress Taylor

Taylor isn’t the only one that wasn’t impressed by Ramirez’s performance. Former WBA light-welterweight champion Regis Prograis didn’t seem overly impressed by what he saw from Ramirez either.

“Every time Ramirez fights it becomes more clear why he swerved on me when I was the mandatory,” said Prograis on social media in reacting to Jose’s win. “Up for grabs but they won’t give it to Postol. Ramirez won.

“Close fight but Postal lost. No matter what happens I’ll beat Ramirez or Postal. I won’t be cocky and say easy but I’ll definitely whup both of them,” Prograis said.

Regis wanted to fight Ramirez in 2018 back when he was his mandatory, but Top Rank makes the fight. Prograis ended up competing in the World Boxing Super Series tournament, where he lost a close 12 round majority decision to Josh Taylor in October 2019.

Postol wasn’t Jose’s toughest fight

“He can take a punch, but I feel like if I had put more pressure,” said Ramirez in the post-fight news conference about his thoughts on Postol. “If I had felt a little fresher and not as tense, I think I would have done much better. I could see that he respected my power.

“My mistake was I was looking for that one shot. If I had let my combinations go, that was my biggest mistake. Postol is a very disciplined fighter. Everyone in the boxing world knows that he’s a very disciplined fighter. He takes care of his body pretty well for his age. I would have loved to make a bigger statement, but it’s part of boxing.

No, I’ve had previous fights that I was more concerned,” said Ramirez when asked if Postol was one of his most challenging fights. “This fight, I knew he didn’t have the power much to hurt me.

“It was just that I needed to let my punches go. I was a little too patient, and I was a little too hesitant. And I made the fight more difficult myself. I just need to let my body recover. That’s the most important thing.

“I knew I was able to hurt him, but what I lacked in this fight was the killer instruct that I usually show in my fights,” Ramirez continued in trying to make sense of why he fought poorly.

“If I had used the killer instinct in this fight, I think I would have put him away. It was good to get 12 rounds in because it reminds me of what I have to go through in a 12 round fight. I’m just ready to rest, relax and hopefully get ready for Josh Taylor,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez didn’t elaborate on which fights that he felt were tougher ones for him during his career than his match against Postol. But perhaps he was referring to his bout against Jose Zepeda last year. That was a very close one for Ramirez, who was lucky to get the win.

Ramirez admits he didn’t fight well

“[Trainer] Robert said, ‘Don’t respect him. Keep pushing and don’t give him anything,’ and I tried,” Ramirez continued. “I was blocking most of the punches he was throwing. The touching punches, I was blocking them.

“I started using my solid jab, and for a time, I felt like I was in a sparring session. I was a little too overrelaxed. And  I was just missing that killer instinct that I usually show.

“I’m ready to go through the experience with fans or with no fans,” said Ramirez on a unification match against Josh Taylor. “I just need to let my body recover a little bit, you know? It was the same thing when I fought Jose Zepeda.

“It wasn’t my best performance, but then I went and fought [Maurice] Hooker, and I went straight to unify the titles. I showed something new in the game against Maurice Hooker.

“It was the same thing with this fight. I was happy that I got the 12 rounds in. I know I’m going to be much fresher with that killer instinct and a much stronger fighter when I do fight Josh Taylor.

“Some athletes are different. They miss their families more than others, and some don’t,’ said Ramirez.

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Ramirez treated the fight as a sparring session

“I got too comfortable, treating it like a sparring session when I couldn’t show the killer instinct that I usually show,” Ramirez continued. “It’s not an excuse. It’s part of the game, and I have to learn from this.

“This is my first time fighting in these circumstances [behind closed doors]. There were so many things that I wanted to hurry up and get this fight over with.

“I was a little distracted and burned out from being stuck in the sport for almost a whole year. I felt like I got a little too comfortable in there [with Postol], and I couldn’t be myself, and I could have done a little bit more.

“Of course, I’m looking at my other opponents, and that’s what kept me motivated, Ramirez said. “I’m one fight away from fighting from an undisputed. Hopefully, Josh Taylor defends his titles against his mandatory next month.

“But yeah, I was thinking ahead, and that’s what kept me motivated. I know how this fight was, and it was going to be a little complicated because Postol is a really long, crafty, tricky fighter.

“So I know he was going to make it a little more complicated. I just want to prove to myself that I’m the best 140, and by doing that, I have to face the best 140 pounders out there,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez will need to get used to fighting behind closed doors because his fight with Taylor is expected to be held without fans as well. If Ramirez isn’t ready to battle out fans, he’ll have the same problems facing Taylor.

Fighting for the glory

“As you know, Josh Taylor has the other two belts,” Ramirez continued. “For me to say that I’m the best at 140, I have to face Josh Taylor.

“So I do that more for my own glory and myself, and not so much for the writers and the people’s opinions. I do that for myself. That’s what I want to do.

“A seven because I got the victory,” said Ramirez when asked how he rates his performance against Postol. “If it had been a six, I would have been in trouble.

Ramirez also has his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall, but the World Boxing Organization isn’t expected to force that match between he faces Taylor in a unification.

If Ramirez beats Taylor, he’ll likely vacate his WBO belt and move up to 147. In that case, Catterall winds up facing the next available contender in the WBO’s rankings.

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