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Bob Arum says Josh Taylor was allowed to hold Jose Ramirez by the referee

Jose Ramirez Josh Taylor

By Dan Ambrose: Bob Arum didn’t seem too pleased when talking about the excessive holding that IBF/WBA light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) was permitted to do in his fight against WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) last Saturday night at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

With Taylor being allowed to hit on the break and clinch excessively, it gave him just enough advantage to squeak out a victory. If the referee had stopped Taylor from clinching and hitting on the break, Ramirez would have won the fight, in this writer’s opinion.

You hate to see fights decided on one fighter bending the rules, but it seemed clearly that Taylor won by his use of hitting on the break and clinching.

You take away the clinching and hitting on the break; Ramirez would have beaten Taylor up and gotten the victory.

Arum made no mention of Taylor’s habit of hitting on the break, which he did effectively.

Indeed, Taylor’s seventh-round knockdown of Ramirez came with him nailing the American with a left uppercut immediately while he was backing up from a clinch.

The referee Kenny Bayless allowed Taylor’s knockdown to count, but you can argue that it should have been waved off with him losing a point for the foul. That looked like a pure foul from Taylor, and the referee Bayless was asleep at the wheel.

“The referee allowed him [Taylor] to hold,” said Bob Arum to Fighthype. “So his holding was very effective. Jose has all the guts in the world, and those were two good knockdowns and he showed good recovery power.”

Jose Ramirez Josh Taylor

Taylor, 30, made it a habit of crashing forward to wrap Ramirez into a clinch after each punch he would throw last night. The use of strategic holding was clearly part of Taylor’s main game plan, and it essentially neutralized a significant portion of Ramirez’s offense.

Taylor gamed the system with his strategic holding, making it a more one-sided fight than it should have been.

Had the referee done his job of warning Taylor for his gaming the system with his holding, Ramirez would likely have won the fight.

You hate to say that, but it’s very likely that Ramirez would have won the fight if the referee had warned and, if need be, taken points off from Taylor for his punch & grab strategy that he used.

Holding in boxing isn’t supposed to be used as a strategy to win fights, and that’s clearly what we saw last Saturday with Taylor using it as his main tool to get the victory.

Jose Ramirez Josh Taylor

“I didn’t learn from my mistakes during the clinches. I think I left it to the referee to do his job, and he [Taylor] took advantage of those clinches.

“It just came down to the clinches, you know?” said Ramirez. “He would let his hands go as soon as he got his chance. Again, I left it to the referee to do his part. It was a lack of experience on my part.

“I’m really disappointed because I wanted to win, but it’s the disappointment of a competitor and not a sore loser.”




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