In the first major Las Vegas fight card with fans held by Top Rank this year Josh Taylor made history for his native Scotland.
On Saturday Taylor, the World Boxing Association/International Boxing Federation junior welterweight champion coming into the night defeated then-World Boxing Council/World Boxing Organization champion Jose Ramirez via unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 114-112 in Taylor’s favor. With the victory he fully unifies the 140 lb. division for the first time since current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford achieved the feat in 2017.
Taylor becomes the first Scottish fighter to become an undisputed champion in the four belt era. The fight was broadcast on ESPN.
The fight was close throughout with Taylor trying to maintain distance early from Ramirez who focused on attacking the body. It wasn’t a pretty affair thanks to Taylor clinching when Ramirez closed distance and landing borderline shots in the clinch before being separated by referee Kenny Bayless.
The difference in the cards came from the two knockdowns Taylor scored in the sixth and seventh rounds. The first knockdown came within the first 20 seconds of the sixth round and had Ramirez recovering for the remainder. The second knockdown can be seen as controversial due to it being caused by a Taylor uppercut to Ramirez after Bayless ordered the fighters to break from a clinch. While one of the main keys of boxing is to protect yourself at all times, trying to punch after the referee breaks a clinch is mostly frowned upon.
Without those knockdowns the decision would have been an extremely rare unanimous draw.
In the co-main event junior welterweight contender Jose Zepeda defeated late replacement Hank Lundy via wide unanimous decision that can be easily seen as a gift.
On the undercard former amateur standout Kenneth Sims Jr. scored an upset victory over highly touted prospect Elvis Rodriguez via majority decision.
Also, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury confirmed during the broadcast that he signed the contract for his third fight against Deontay Wilder on July 24 at Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium. Fury was planning to fight WBA/WBO/IBF champion Anthony Joshua instead until an arbitration ruling Monday in Wilder’s favor scuttled those plans.