Scotland has a new undisputed champion. Josh "The Tartan Tornado" Taylor outlasted Jose Ramirez in an instant classic, notching a unanimous decision (114-112 3x) to unify the WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA junior welterweight titles.
With the win, Taylor becomes the sixth male undisputed champion of the four-belt era, and the first from Scotland to do so.
Ramirez, who had been world champion since March 2018, invested in the body in the early going, but Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) was equal to the task in the trenches.
The tide turned in the sixth round when Taylor nailed Ramirez with a straight left hand as Ramirez lunged forward. In the seventh, an uppercut planted Ramirez to the canvas.
Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) nearly dug himself out of the hole, sweeping the last four rounds on one scorecard and winning three of the last four on the other two.
"He took advantage of some of those clinches but, hey, I got back up and tried to give it my best and stay smart. I was never hurt. I was aware. I was just disappointed every time it happened. I tried to shake it off and get back to my rhythm. But it was overall a good fight. Hopefully, I get back and I learn from my mistakes. You win some and you lose some," Ramirez said.
"I felt like I landed some clean shots. It came down to the clinches. He would let his hands go as soon as he got his chance and I think I left it to the referee to do his part and it was a lack of experience on my part."