Josh Taylor reacts to WBO ordering Jose Ramirez vs. Jack Catterall fight

By Boxing News - 09/06/2020 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook:  Josh Taylor says he doesn’t want to wait until after Jose Ramirez defends his WBC/WBO light-welterweight titles against his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall.

IBF/WBA champ Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) wants to go straight into the fight for the undisputed 140-pound championship after he defends against his IBF mandatory Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) this month on September 26th at the BT Sport Studio in Stratford.

Josh can understand Catterall (25-0, 13 KOs) wanting to get his World Boxing Organization ordered title shot against Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), but he still doesn’t want to wait.

Taylor critical of Ramirez’s performance against Postol

Taylor feels that Catterall, 27, can wait until after he faces Ramirez, and then fight the winner for all four titles.

Catterall is in a good position right now to either fight the winner of the Taylor vs. Ramirez fight or battle for the vacant WBO title in the aftermath.

Image: Josh Taylor reacts to WBO ordering Jose Ramirez vs. Jack Catterall fight

There’s a good chance that the winner of the Taylor-Ramirez fight will vacate all four belts and move up to 147. That would leave Catterall to take on the highest-ranked available contender to fight for the vacant WBO 140lb title.

That would be either Liam Paro or Jose Zepeda that Catterall would be facing for the vacant WBO belt. Those wouldn’t be easy fights for Catterall, but he’d have a better chance of beating one of them than he would against Taylor or Ramirez.

Taylor wasn’t overly impressed with what he saw from Ramirez’s performance in defeating his WBC mandatory Viktor ‘The Iceman’ Postol (31-3, 12 KOs) last month on August 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Josh says he saw the Ramirez vs. Postol fight as a draw and one that could have gone either way. For the recond, Ramirez won by a 12 round majority decision by the scores 115-113, 116-112, and 114-114.

Ramirez didn’t look or sound like the winner at the post-fight news conference, sounding like a fighter that knew he should have lost. Nevertheless, Ramirez won’t be giving Postol a rematch. He’ll be moving on to face either Taylor or Catterall next.

Taylor confident of beating Ramirez

“From what I saw, I scored it as a draw,” said Josh Taylor to IFL TV in his reaction to the Jose Ramirez vs. Viktor Postol fight. “It could have been Postol’s way, and it could have gone Ramirez’s way.

Image: Josh Taylor reacts to WBO ordering Jose Ramirez vs. Jack Catterall fight

But I wasn’t impressed with what I saw from Ramirez. Postol ran away with the rounds in the first half of the fight. He made Ramirez look very ordinary and slow, loading up and missing and a bit wild and erratic.

“He was getting peppered and picked off with the jab, and I saw a lot of holding from Ramirez and flaws that I’ll expose 100% when we meet.

“I wasn’t impressed with it, and I was happy with what I saw. I’m even more encouraged now if that fight gets made, and I can’t wait,” said Taylor on the Ramirez fight. I’ll definitely be very comfortable and confident going into that fight.

Taylor talks fight against Apinun Khongsong

“There’s not a lot out there on him, but what I have seen, I’ve studied it and made a good plan,” said Taylor about his next opponent Apinun Khongsong on September 26.

“He is very good, and he’s the same height as me. He has good timing and good punching power. We need to watch what we’re doing. He looks very dangerous, and he’s got power in both hands. We need to be switched on, and I believe I will be in three weeks,” Taylor said.

Ramirez didn’t look comfortable against the tall 5’11’ Postol during their fight, and he only fought well in the middle rounds. Postol outboxed Ramirez in the first and last quarter of the fight and let him have success in the middle rounds.

Josh doesn’t want to delay Ramirez clash

“I can see both sides,” said Taylor when asked about his thoughts on the WBO ordering Ramirez to defend against Jack Catterall. “If I was Catterall, I’d be wanting the fight. He’s been mandatory for a while, so I’d be wanting that fight.

Image: Josh Taylor reacts to WBO ordering Jose Ramirez vs. Jack Catterall fight

“But on the other hand, do I wait and let that fight happen? If he beats Ramirez, and then I could fight Jack in a massive fight for all four belts in the UK. It would be an all British clash for all four belts.

“It would be a huge fight. I could do that as well. At the same time, if I was him, I’d want that big fight as well, and I can see where he’s coming from. But from my point of view, I’ve been in four big fights in a row.

“I’ve proven myself that I’m the best in the division, I believe. So I think that fight [with Ramirez] needs to happen for the good of the sport. I’ve got two belts, and Ramirez has got two other belts.

“I’ve got the Ring Magazine belt as well. We’ve got all the belts up for grabs. I think that fight needs to happen for the good of the sport. It would be a crying shame if that didn’t happen or if another mandatory got put in the way.

“That may happen with Ramirez having to go fight Catterall, and then I may have to get the mandatory of my WBA out of the way as well. Then you’ve got another delay before that fight happens,” said Josh.

The WBO likely won’t change their mind about having Catterall next up for Ramirez, which is a shame because there’s no interest in a Ramirez-Catterall fight.

Catterall should be pushed aside

“So I think we should get that fight [Catterall] pushed aside or selfish reasons obviously,” said Taylor. “We need to get that big fight [Ramirez vs. Taylor] fight happen.

Image: Josh Taylor reacts to WBO ordering Jose Ramirez vs. Jack Catterall fight

“Outside of the heavyweights, AJ and Fury fight going on, and whoever Canelo is going to fight, I think that’s the biggest fight in boxing. I think it’s the perfect time to happen while the two of us have two belts.

“Hopefully, that mandatory doesn’t happen, and we can go do it for all the belts. I think it has to happen for the sport. For me, personally, I’d like for it to happen straight away. So can I.

“He’s been sitting there for ages waiting, and if I was him, I’d want to get it on straight away,” Taylor said of Catterall.

“But then again, he’s not in a bad position either. If that fight with myself and Ramirez goes ahead, and then he’s sitting there. I believe I’ll beat Ramirez,” Taylor continued about Jack Catterall. “Then he’s sitting there, and we can go at it for all four belts or fight for a vacant belt.

“So he’s in a good position either way. But me being me, I’d want the Ramirez fight as well. I know where he’s coming from. I think he’d give him a good fight, but I do think Ramirez would come through that.

“Just going on the recent performances of the two of them, I think Ramirez would come through that,” Taylor said.

If Ramirez loses to Catterall, it would still work in Taylor’s favor. A lot of boxing fans in the UK would like to see him face Catterall, as he’s British too. However, the U.S boxing fans won’t want to tune in to see Taylor and Catterall fight.

Josh Taylor reacts to Andre Ward’s criticism

“I never bothered,” said Taylor when asked if he heard about Andre Ward’s criticism of him. “He probably just said that based on some stat that he’d read—tall southpaw, 5’11”, and doesn’t know how to fight inside at all.

Image: Josh Taylor reacts to WBO ordering Jose Ramirez vs. Jack Catterall fight

“I’m not bothered by it at all. Listen, he’s entitled to his opinion,” Taylor said in reacting to Ward, saying that he doesn’t fight well on the inside.

“That doesn’t bother me at all. The reason for that Tweet is because I know I can fight on the inside, and it’s one of the strongest points of my game.

“At mid to short-range, I’m brilliant. There are not too many people that can beat me from mid to short-range. That’s why I believe I’m the best in the division and one of the best in the game in fighting up close inside.

That’s the reason I put the Tweet out because I know that’s one of my best attributes,” said Taylor.

ESPN commentator Andre Ward may not have realized that inside fighting is the strongest area of Josh Taylor’s game when he made that comment during the Ramirez vs. Postol broadcast.

If Ward had said that Taylor’s outside game isn’t the best, then there wouldn’t have been a strong reaction from the public. Taylor’s outside game isn’t anywhere near as good as his inside fighting ability.