One of the best boxing matches you could possibly make is now official.
Top Rank Boxing announced that WBC and WBO junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) and IBF and WBA champion Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) will unify their titles on May 22nd at a venue TBD in Las Vegas. The event will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN+ with a lead-in from an NBA playoff game, so you know it’s a big card.
Ramirez won the vacant WBC belt against Amir Imam in March of 2018. The Fresno native had two successful hometown title defenses against Antonio Orozco and Jose Zepeda, before going into enemy territory and stopping Maurice Hooker in Texas to take his WBO title. In his lone appearance of 2020, Ramirez had a somewhat uninspiring decision win over former champ Viktor Postol, but it’s paved the way for him to fully unify.
Taylor turned pro in 2015 but it was evident that he would not be one of those prospects with slow-build matchmaking. He entered the World Boxing Super Series in 2018 and knocked out Ryan Martin in the quarterfinals, won the IBF title from Ivan Baranchyk in the semifinals, and defeated Regis Prograis in a thrilling 2019 encounter to become a unified champion. Afterwards, the Scotsman signed with Top Rank and got his mandatory title defense out of the way against the embarrassingly overmatched Apinun Khongsong last September.
This is clearly best vs. best between two exciting and highly skilled boxers who aren’t afraid to mix it up. At least until Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury is booked (we hope), this is the best fight on the boxing calendar at the moment.