Great Scot Josh Taylor (17-0, 13KOs) and Mexican-American hero Jose Carlos Ramirez (26-0, 17KOs) clash on May 22 in Las Vegas to crown the next undisputed super-lightweight king, only the second in history after P4P top talent Terence Crawford.
'The Tartan Tornado' owns the WBA and IBF belts while 'JCR' has the WBC and WBO. Two unified, undefeated champions set to meet in their prime, but who wins this battle for super-lightweight supremacy?
BBN asked their resident boxing panel, consisting of pros boxers, managers, trainers and writers, for their expert opinions:
Welsh Area super-lightweight champion
"Josh Taylor is probably top three of my fave fighters and top three P4P, possibly too.
I think he unifies, he’s stepped up with every level he’s gone up, and is going to be a bastion of boxing for this island for years!"
Former world champion
"Taylor’s keys would be his ability to box different ways – he can do that inside and outside. He can be southpaw and then switch to orthodox. He can do things differently, always switching.
Ramirez is good at always pressuring his opponents, he can rely on his power. Taylor should be aware not of Ramirez’s constant pressure but of the power in his hands. If Ramirez catches Josh, he wouldn’t miss his chance.
Each is good at his own field. It’s hard to tell who is the better of the two, they are just different. I would give the slight edge to Taylor."
Former WBA super-lightweight champion
"I think Taylor wins by a split decision."
WBO #1 super-lightweight
“I’ve said it from the start, I think Taylor wins.
Ramirez has improved, but is one dimensional. He has a big heart, will come forward but he is up against a southpaw mover who can get stuck in. He will face problems.”
Mark Reyes Jr
ABF Continental Americas welterweight champion
"I really like Jose Ramírez but Josh Taylor has all the tools. And coming off a tightly contested win against Regis Prograis, I have to say gives him the advantage experience-wise to win.
As far as the fight itself, it will be a very competitive fight, but I have Josh Taylor by UD."
British & Commonwealth super-lightweight champion
"Taylor to win by UD."
"I think Josh Taylor wins because he has done everything as a pro and amateur, he’s learnt a lot, had good experiences and always finds a way to win.
I think him and Ben Davison are a perfect match as well."
"Great fight, but have to go Taylor as I feel he punches a bit harder."
Top 20 UK super-lightweight
"Ramirez does look double hard and, being Mexican, he’s gotta be! Taylor is class though, it’s gonna be a good fight, but I’m gonna go with Ramirez, because recently Mexicans have been smashing it."
WBC & WBA super-bantamweight champion
"I think Ramirez is gonna take it."
"I think Jose Ramirez will break down and stop Josh Taylor late. Ramirez's body punching, constant pressure and signature left hook will be far too much for Taylor.
Taylor will attempt to fight him at short range and on the inside which is Ramirez's game and he will capitalise on that in the middle rounds.
Taylor is big at the weight and will be vulnerable to the body, I feel.
Ramirez KO/TKO 7-9."
Former IBF & WBC female world champion
"I think Ramirez wins."
"I think Josh Taylor becomes the first ever undisputed four-belt Scottish champion.
No one can give me any reason to bet against him. he's answered every question asked, come through every single tough challenge placed in front of him, and I believe he just continues to excel and triumph in every fight and different opponent he's given.
Taylor is adaptable, slick, relentless and tough. I know that Ramirez is aggressive and strong, but I pick Taylor to win on points in a fantastic fight, where it will be close and exciting, but where he is a clear winner, although I expect the judges to score it closer than it is, being in America, maybe one judge causing a controversy (I hope not), but I believe Taylor wins clearly on the cards, regardless.
A small part of me believes that with the Mexican's aggression and willingness to lay it all on the line, Taylor could score a stoppage just past the mid-rounds. Taylor finds clever openings and can generate power from short distances, so if 'JCR' is opening up and possibly frustrated by Taylor, there could be an opportunity to land accurately and heavily."
"I think Josh Taylor wins because he has the superior physical dimensions and greater punch variety.
He is really good at putting together spiteful combinations and although Jose Ramirez is unquestionably a tenacious and talented operator, he sometimes can be rather one-dimensional in his approach. On the other hand, Josh Taylor has demonstrated that he can win in a number of ways against different styles and has fought better opposition in less fights; although both have good resumes.
I think Josh Taylor will soften him up with a spearing southpaw jab before systematically breaking Ramirez down as the fight progresses, putting together the necessary punches to force a stoppage."