WBA, IBF junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor admits that his upcoming fight with Jose Ramirez, the WBC, WBO champion at 140, is likely his last fight in the weight class.
The two unbeaten champions will collide on May 22nd.
Both Taylor and Ramirez defeated unbeaten boxers to become unified champions – with Taylor winning a decision over Regis Prograis and Ramirez stopped Maurice Hooker.
Taylor has been aware of Ramirez for a very long time and never viewed him as a threat.
“He’s the unified world champion so you have to give him respect,” said Taylor to Sky Sports. “He is a good come-forward fighter who makes people work, he grinds people down.
“He is a pressure fighter who keeps it tight, puts the pressure on, tries to break them down, overwhelm them. He comes for a fight. It’s a different kind of fight to Regis Prograis tactics-wise. I see a lot of things in Ramirez’s game that I can expose.
“I first came across him at the World Championships in Azerbaijan in 2011. We were in the same weight category. I knew most of the fighters around my weight so I’ve known of him a long time. He turned pro before me. Our paths could have crossed at the Olympics but it wasn’t to be. Now our paths cross for the biggest prize in the game. He’s decent but have I always had the ability to beat him? Yes. I’ve never thought of him as a threat.”
A win over Ramirez would make Taylor a frontrunner to face WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in the near future.
“After this, it will be to move up to 147-pounds and chase a second weight world title to really cement my reign in the history books,” Taylor said.
“Crawford? Of course he’s on my radar. It would be a massive fight – two undisputed champions fighting. These are all longer-term goals. All I’m thinking about now is Ramirez and winning those four belts.”