Jose Ramirez lost his two 140 lb world title belts on May 22, as Josh Taylor became the new undisputed champion at the weight in a fight that pretty much lived up to the hype.
There’s been a lot of question about what Taylor (18-0, 13 KO) will do now. There was some expectation that he’d hop right up to 147 and fight Terence “Bud” Crawford — a fight Top Rank would like to do — but it looks as though he’ll make at least one undisputed championship defense at 140, this summer against WBO mandatory Jack Catterall, which should be a big homecoming bout for Taylor in Scotland against an English opponent.
But with Taylor’s reign as full champ unlikely to last too long, Ramirez is hoping to get right back into the title mix — and he’s not forgetting about a Taylor rematch, either.
For the time being, Ramirez has a bold plan: Teofimo Lopez first at 140, then chasing Taylor at welterweight down the line.
“Josh will be fighting Jack Catterall and then move to 147,” Ramirez wrote on Twitter. “That was my plan, too. That was our only option. But now I would like to fight Teofimo for any title he wishes at 140 once Josh vacates all of them. Then I’ll chase Josh at 147 for a rematch. I’ll get him!”
Ramirez (26-1, 17 KO) and Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) are both Top Rank fighters, so it’d be easy enough to make. Lopez is set to fight June 19 against George Kambosos Jr, but could move up to 140 after that. He’s always said he won’t hang around and let the weight beat him, when he feels he can’t comfortably make 135 anymore, he’ll move up. And that’s been for a couple of years.
Lopez-Ramirez would be a great fight to do at 140, and Teofimo moving up in weight with strong ties to each sanctioning body at 135 would make it easy to sanction. (Plus, you know, sanctioning bodies just do what they want anyway.)
That said, there’s also a chance that Taylor could fight Lopez for the undisputed championship at 140 later this year, or maybe a bastardized “undisputed” championship where the WBC move Taylor to “franchise champion” like Lopez is for that organization at 135. The real bottom line is it won’t matter, it’s a fight people would like to see.
Ramirez’s plan sounds good to me just as a fan because there’s no gimme involved. He’s not looking for an easy title fight, he wants to do big fights with dangerous opponents. Don’t know if it’ll shake out that way, but it’s nice to have guys like him out there at any rate.