Jose Ramirez didn’t have an easy time with Viktor Postol tonight in Las Vegas, but came away with a solid majority decision winning, retaining his WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles and setting up a potential undisputed title fight with Josh Taylor.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO) struggled some with the style of Postol (31-3, 12 KO), but everyone does, really, including Taylor and Terence Crawford in Postol’s previous losses. Postol came closer on the cards here against Ramirez — scores were 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112 for Ramirez — than he did against Taylor and Crawford, but the overall flow of the fights was fairly similar.
Ramirez, 28, wanted to be the aggressor, but the technically sound Postol gave him problems behind the jab at certain points, which wasn’t hard to see happening. But the 36-year-old Postol did get clearly hurt a couple of times, too, and Ramirez did just enough in the end.
Bad Left Hook had it 114-114 and 115-113 Ramirez on two separate cards.
Ramirez admitted that fighting in front of an empty room, and also having a long, drawn-out camp for this fight — which was canceled twice and originally meant to happen in February — affected him.
“I guess I work off the crowd, a spark and motivation that’s bigger than myself,” he said. “I felt like I was in a sparring session. But we live and learn. I’m just happy I got the win. And it’s been a long training camp, I was kind of burned out a little bit mentally, too.”
As for facing WBA/IBF titleholder Taylor (16-0, 12 KO) in the near future, Ramirez admits he’d need to be better, but also feels he definitely can be.
“I need to go back to what I do best, being myself. I think I can show more,” he told Bernardo Osuna. “When I come across Josh Taylor, I’m gonna show it.”
And Ramirez also said that if it comes down to fighting in the United States without fans or possibly going to the United Kingdom to fight Taylor with fans, that he would choose going to the UK, saying he feels the fight deserves a crowd.
To note, there have only been four undisputed champions in all of men’s boxing during the four-belt era: Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor at middleweight, Terence Crawford at junior welterweight, and Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight. So yes, it would be a big fight.
Taylor is currently set to return to action on Sept. 26 against Apinun Khongsong.
- Arnold Barboza Jr UD-10 Tony Luis: Barboza stays unbeaten, improving to 24-0 (10 KO), but at 28 it’s really time for him to fight serious contenders and not guys on the level of Tony Luis and William Silva. Scores were 99-90 across the board here, with only a point deducted stopping it from a truly clean sweep on all three cards. Luis (29-4, 10 KO) has been a solid small show fighter in his career, but he was woefully out of his depth with Barboza, who has solid skills and is right on the cusp of the top 10 at 140.
- Elvis Rodriguez KO-3 Cody Wilson: Wilson (9-3, 6 KO) came in from West Virginia, where the boxing is ... well, but he gave the effort here and had more skills than you might have anticipated coming in. But Rodriguez (9-0-1, 9 KO) was just too fast, too skilled, too strong, and he bombed Wilson out with a shot about a minute into the third round. He caught him and that was that. Freddie Roach’s current prize prospect continues to impress those who tune in early to see him, and he’s a legit high level prospect at 140.
- Raymond Muratalla TKO-7 Cesar Valenzuela: Mostly, the 23-year-old lightweight Muratalla (10-0, 8 KO) looked really good here, fighting with poise and control and confidence, but he did have to get off the canvas in the second round on a legit knockdown. But he’d dropped Valenzuela (15-7-1, 5 KO) in the first, too, and hurt him repeatedly from the third round on. It was a very good performance from a promising young fighter, but a good effort from the 30-year-old Valenzuela, too.
- Gabriel Muratalla UD-4 Justice Bland: The 26-year-old Muratalla moves to 5-0 (3 KO) with a clear win, even though he was dropped in the first by Bland, who drops to 2-1 (0 KO). Muratalla, a bantamweight prospect, was down in that opening round, but Bland then landed a late shot to the head, which cost Bland a point. Muratalla then did the better work and won the next three rounds. The fight was quite easy to score, and the judges got it right, scoring it 38-36 across the board for Muratalla.
- Javier Martinez UD-6 Rance Ward: Didn’t see this fight, as we were watching the PBC prelims and then dealing with the fact that FOX Chicago decided not to air the PBC main card tonight. But Martinez is now 2-0 (0 KO), while Ward falls to 4-2-1 (2 KO).