Josh Taylor faces Jose Ramirez on May 22nd in Las Vegas

By Boxing News - 03/02/2021 - Comments

By Matt Lieberman: It’s now official that Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor will be meeting on May 22nd to fight for the undisputed 140-lb championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on ESPN & ESPN Deportes.

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) will have his WBC/WBO light welterweight titles on the line when he takes on IBF/WBA champion Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) in this clash, which has a start time of 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT.

The venue still has to be decided, as Top Rank wants the Taylor vs. Ramirez match to take place in front of boxing fans rather than inside ‘The Bubble’ like we’ve seen during their broadcast during the pandemic.

Taylor vs. Ramirez winner to take on Terence Crawford

When the smoke clears from the Taylor-Ramirez fight, we’ll know who the #1 fighter is in the light welterweight division. Unfortunately, both fighters are expected to move up immediately to the 147-lb weight class, with the winner to take on WBO champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had talked recently of wanting to set up a fight between the Taylor vs. Ramirez winner against the undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez.

Unfortunately, those plans may change now that Teo is expressing disappointment over the offer he received from them for his next fight against George Kambosos Jr.

Image: Josh Taylor faces Jose Ramirez on May 22nd in Las Vegas

Josh Taylor hoping for fans

“From what I gather, it’s looking like it’s going to be May,” said Josh Taylor to BT Sport Boxing about his fight with Jose Ramirez. “Maybe potentially over in Vegas as well, so that’s the latest I know.

“But we’re looking and sort of aiming towards May. We think it’s going to be there at some point in May; we just don’t know yet.

“I know for sure that I’m training and gearing towards May. I’ve been down here for the last five or six weeks already, so I’m gearing towards hopefully May.

“I’d like to hope so; I’d like that fight with fans,” said Taylor when asked if he’d like to have the Ramirez clash moved to June so that it could take place with fans.

“I don’t want to have the biggest fight of my life, this fight that I’ve dreamed for my whole life, and have it with no fans.

“And I’d rather wait until crowds are back and we do it in front of the fans. It’s a massive fight. It’s too big of a fight not to have fans, so I’d like to sort of wait until we can have fans in,” said Taylor.

It appears that some fans will be allowed back in by May 22nd, but just how many is unclear.

If full crowds aren’t allowed back in by that date, you can expect Top Rank to either postpone the Taylor vs. Ramirez contest for a month or take it to a state in the U.S that has already let crowds back.

Ramirez needs to be at his best

“You’ve got to keep active; this game is about momentum as well,” said Taylor. “It was good to get out last year [against Apinun Khongsong], but it was quite an alien experience without the fans and not having any dressing rooms and stuff like that.

Image: Josh Taylor faces Jose Ramirez on May 22nd in Las Vegas

“So it was quite weird. I wouldn’t be in a rush to do that again.

“I give him the benefit of the doubt, he had three training camps back to back, and he got picked three times, and the fight got canceled,” said Taylor about Ramirez’s last match against Viktor Postol.

“It was a third time lucky, so that may have had a little effect on him. But I wasn’t impressed at all. He’s an excellent fighter, but I just feel it’s my time, and it’s my time to shine. I feel like I’ve got the beating of him in every department, so I feel like I’m going to win this fight.

“What we’re doing is ticking over, keeping fit, and keeping the condition and the engine at the minute,” Taylor said. “I’m pretty fit at the minute. I’m sparring already eight, nine rounds.

“And I’m fit already, so it’s just a case if it gets delayed; we’ll take the intensity down and just relax and work on things. We’re just rolling with the punches.

“There’s not much we can do. We can’t demand anything; we’re just rolling with the punches and just waiting to see what happens. But I’d rather get the fight sooner rather than later.

“I should be talking to you as the undisputed world champ. It’s been a frustrating 18 months, so hopefully, we’ll get back to some normality soon,” said Taylor.

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There’s no question that Ramirez will need to perform a lot better against Taylor than he did in his last fight against Viktor Postol on August 29th last year if he wants to win.

Ramirez squeaked by Postol with a controversial 12 round majority, winning by the scores:

  • 115-113
  • 116-112
  • 114-114