Josh Taylor wasn’t nearly as impressed with Jose Ramirez on Saturday night as he was with how Viktor Postol performed.
Ramirez retained his WBC and WBO 140-pound titles against Postol, whom he beat by majority decision in their 12-round fight at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Taylor still saw plenty of flaws in Ramirez, the opponent the IBF/WBA champ hopes to meet next if he wins his own mandated title defense September 26 in London.
“Outstanding performance from Postol!!,” Taylor stated in a Tweet issued Sunday. “Ramirez … hmmmm. Not so much.”
Taylor added the thumbs down and punching fist emojis following his statement.
Taylor knows, of course, the challenges Postol presents. The Scottish southpaw defeated the Ukrainian contender by unanimous decision in June 2018 in Glasgow, but Postol hurt Taylor twice in the seventh round of a 12-rounder Postol contends was closer than the judges scored it (119-108, 118-110, 117-110).
The 36-year-old Postol made matters tough for Ramirez with his consistent jab and movement. The 28-year-old Ramirez buzzed Postol with a left hand in the seventh round, landed the harder shots during their fight and won a main event ESPN+ streamed on two scorecards.
Judge Steve Weisfeld scored eight rounds for Ramirez (116-112), but Tim Cheatham scored seven rounds for the champion (115-113) and Dave Moretti credited them for winning six rounds apiece (114-114). CompuBox counted just nine more punches overall for Ramirez (156-of-556 to 147-of-668).
Postol (31-3, 12 KOs) was winning on the cards of Cheatham and Moretti through nine rounds. They had him ahead by one point, 86-85, entering the 10th round.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) led by one point, 86-85, on Weisfeld’s card after the ninth round.
Nevertheless, Ramirez advanced toward a 140-pound title unification fight with Taylor. Bob Arum, Ramirez’s promoter and Taylor’s co-promoter, told BoxingScene.com last week that he wants to match them before the end of this year.
“It was a good fight,” Arum said of Ramirez-Postol, “but both men were impacted by going through three training camps and the whole situation with COVID-19. That being said, I thought Jose clearly won the fight.”
The 29-year-old Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) must defeat Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs), the mandatory challenger for his IBF junior welterweight title, next month to secure his place in a showdown with Ramirez. ESPN+ will stream the Taylor-Khongsong fight as the main event of a multi-fight show September 26 from BT Sport’s Studio in London.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.