15 years in the making - What Josh Taylor’s victory means in boxing history
Josh Taylor said he felt he had reached his destiny by defeating Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas.
The Scot’s victory unified the super-lightweight division and made him the undisputed champion of the world.
In the fragmented world of boxing politics, this is an extremely rare occurrence.
To put the scale of his achievement in perspective, it is only the fifth time that a boxer has held all four main world title belts simultaneously.
Taylor joins Oleksandr Usyk, Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor and Terence Crawford in securing the clean sweep and is the first Scot to be undisputed world champion since Ken Buchanan returned from Los Angeles with two belts 50 years ago.
Taylor had put his WBA and IBF super lightweight titles on the line against WBC and WBO champion Ramirez and ended the night clutching all four belts along with The Ring magazine strap.
The publication has long been considered the bible for boxing fans and has its own championship belt in a given weight class where The Ring champion holds a linear reign to ‘the throne’.
The Scot knocked Ramirez down in consecutive rounds and felt his victory had been more emphatic than the 114-112 scores awarded by all three judges.
“This has been 15 years in the making, dedicating my life to the sport, putting everything on hold, my social life, things I wanted to do with my friends, my family, my fiancee, things I have missed out on. It has all been geared to this moment, and it has finally paid off,” said Taylor after his 18th professional fight.
“I don’t feel surprised, I really don’t feel surprised that I am undisputed champion. But it has not sunk in yet.”
Taylor withstood some heavy shots in the third and fourth rounds before catching Ramirez with a counter left hook in the sixth.
An uppercut in the latter stages of the seventh rocked Ramirez further and Taylor controlled the fight in the following rounds before keeping out of the way of his Californian opponent’s attempts to land a late knockout.
“He left himself open, he put his head down and I took a step back and hit him with the upper-cut,” Taylor said. “I actually think the referee gave him too much time, that should have been fight over.
“He was very, very tough, hats off to Ramirez. But after I put him down, the fight was on my terms. I just stood and boxed and he didn’t know what to do.”
Taylor apologised to Ramirez after getting into fight mode during the first face-off and weigh-in.
“It was all just part of the mind games to get inside his head to make him more eager to jump in on me, to use his aggression against him,” the Prestonpans fighter said.
“It worked perfectly, I walked him into some good shots.
“I have nothing but love and respect for Ramirez, he was a great champion and a great ambassador for the sport, I wish him all the best for the future.”
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