One of the most anticipated fights in 2021 is set to be the unification contest between WBA and IBF champion Josh Taylor and WBC and WBO title holder Jose Ramirez in the light-welterweight division.
The winner of that fight will become the undisputed champion at the weight and will make a strong claim for being one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport.
Taylor has been very impressive since he turned professional in 2015. The former Commonwealth gold medallist has won all 17 of his bouts. He became a world champion after just 15 fights.
It was in the World Boxing Super Series that Taylor proved his class. He defeated Ivan Baranchyk for the IBF crown in the semi-final of that competition. Later that year, he added the WBA crown to his waist after getting the better of Regis Prograis in the final following 12 rounds.
In his last appearance in the ring, Taylor needed just one round to stop Apinun Khongsong. That victory kept his hopes of earning a unification contest with Ramirez alive.
Scot Tops Betting to Land All Four Belts
Taylor is the 4/11 favourite in the boxing betting to defeat his American opponent. Ramirez, who also has a 100% record, is 2/1 to defend his titles and take his opponent’s belts.
JCR has been a world champion since 2018. He won the vacant WBC crown with victory over Amir Inman. Successful title defences followed over Antonio Orozco and Jose Zepeda to prove his class at the top level.
Although he is the underdog in this fight, the California-born boxer has not put a foot wrong in the ring so far. He won the WBO title after stopping Maurice Hooker in the sixth round of their contest in 2019.
Ramirez was strongly tested against Viktor Postol in his last appearance in the ring last year. He was given a majority decision against the Ukrainian in what was an excellent fight in Las Vegas.
Winner Will Match Terence Crawford
The winner of the Taylor-Ramirez contest will become only the second ever undisputed champion at light-welterweight. Terence Crawford was the first to do so and has since stepped up to the welterweight division.
Crawford is now the WBO welterweight champion. He has produced some excellent performances against the likes of Amir Khan and Kell Brook since moving up in weight. Bud could be a potential opponent of the winner of the Taylor and Ramirez fight if one of the parties is willing to change their division.
Taylor is currently ninth in the pound-for-pound rankings in the sport. A win over Crawford would help him move up to the top three at the very least. If he remains unbeaten over the next couple of years, he could be set for the top spot which is held at the moment by Canelo Alvarez.
For now, Taylor and Ramirez will not be looking too far ahead. They both will be aware of how much is at stake in their upcoming match-up.