The sport of boxing just might avoid shooting itself in the foot for once as some good news means we won’t have two of the most significant fights going head-to-head on the same night.
An undisputed junior welterweight title unification between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez had been penned for May 8th, but that’s also Cinco De Mayo weekend — which has lately become a regularly scheduled appearance for Mexican star Canelo Alvarez.
With it looking like Canelo will be taking on Billy Joe Saunders on that date, Mike Coppinger reports that ESPN and Top Rank are looking to move Taylor-Ramirez to another weekend in the month rather than run head-to-head against Canelo, effectively splitting boxing’s already limited audience. So that’s a bright spot for boxing fans, it seems, because now you won’t have to choose between one fight or the other (or feverishly switch channels).
In the meanwhile Taylor and Ramirez are both eager to cement their claims as being the best 140-pound fighter on the plant with all the belts on the line, with Taylor specifically expressing his confidence to RingTV:
“I respect the hell out of Ramirez. He’s a great champion, but I feel that I’m at my best right now. It will be a tough fight at times, but this is my time to shine. I should be the undisputed world champion already, because I was supposed to fight Ramirez in September of last year, but it didn’t happen because of travel restrictions involving the Corona virus.”
For his part Ramirez says he’s ready to put on a thrilling performance for fans, who have unfortunately been inundated with novelty exhibition fights taking center stage over legitimate world class boxing.:
“It is real and it’s a little unfortunate right now with all of the YouTubers out there getting attention for something that isn’t even real. That’s too bad the exhibition fights have misguided boxing fans from what is really going on, like real boxing fights like this.”
Ramirez hopes this fight against Taylor will not only earn boxing some respect, but some for himself as he looks to establish himself as one of the sport’s elite fighters. And in this sport, match-ups like these are about as good as it gets.