Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor Will Take Gold Over Glory in Undisputed Title Fight

By: Hector Franco Tomorrow night in Las Vegas, the two best fighters in the junior welterweight division will attempt to do something special. Unified WBC and WBO champion Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) will face off against IBF and WBA champion Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) to determine the undisputed champion in the division. Less than four years ago, Crawford became the first undisputed junior welterweight champion in the four-belt era when he knocked out Namibia’s Julius Indongo in the third round with a body shot in July 2017. Unfortunately, even the term undisputed in the sport of boxing can be disputed. This week, current WBA super featherweight and lightweight champion Gervonta Davis held a press conference to formally announce his move up to junior welterweight to take on Mario Barrios. That fight will be for a version of the WBA junior welterweight title. The WBA’s insistent on having interim, regular and super champions in each division has caused the world title scene in boxing to become exponentially convoluted. In 1983 when the International Boxing Federation (IBF) was first established, the man known as arguably the greatest junior welterweight in history, Aaron Pryor, became the inaugural IBF champion for the division in the summer of 1984. A few years later, the WBO was established in 1988; however, that title took years to be taken more seriously. Fighters like Oscar De La Hoya and Marco Antonio Barrera gave the WBO title prestige and eventually joined the WBC, WBA, and IBF as one of the four major titles in the sport. Whether a belt counts or doesn’t, is often held in the context of the era. Jamaica’s O'Neil Bell is an often forgotten undisputed champion. In 2006, he stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck in 10 rounds to win the WBA, IBF, and WBA cruiserweight titles. He was the division’s first undisputed champion since Evander Holyfield ran the division in the 1980s. Five years earlier, Kostya Tszyu took out Zab Judah in the second round to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion. On both occasions, the WBO title wasn’t needed to determine undisputed status. The fighters themselves can’t do much about the number of titles in the sport. All they can do is step in the ring and perform. Luckily over the last few years, boxing has seen more fights that had all four major titles on the line in men’s and women’s boxing with Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields, and the upcoming junior middleweight clash between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano. The sports most significant current superstar Saul Alvarez may fight for the undisputed super middleweight championship should he meet Caleb Plant this upcoming fall. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the world title scene in this era, the winner between Ramirez and Taylor will have set a legacy for themselves at junior welterweight. They will join fighters like Antonio Cervantes, Julio Cesar Chavez, Aaron Pryor, and Kostya Tszyu as the best the division has produced in its history. The bout also has nationalistic implications as Ramirez would become Mexico’s first undisputed champion with a victory, and Taylor would become the first from Scotland. The current betting odds as of this writing have Taylor as a -264 favorite and Ramirez as a +200 underdog. Both men have a similar resume with Ramirez being the better-known amateur winning the gold medal at the 2010, 2011, and 2012 United States amateur championships. As a professional, Ramirez holds wins over Maurice Hooker, Viktor Postol, Jose Zepeda, Antonio Orozco, and Amir Imam. Against Taylor, his experience won’t allow him to be intimidated. “I’ve never been a fan of opinions of who is the best fighter out there,” Ramirez stated at the final press conference. “Sometimes people don’t understand that, especially at this level, each fight is going to be tough. I always train like I’m the underdog. “I always train like each fight is the biggest fight of my career. I can’t afford to lose. That’s always been my mentality. I always find a way to win.” For Taylor, his resume backs up any bravado that he exudes. He was also a successful amateur with over 150 fights winning the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games. Most notably, as a professional, Taylor won the World Boxing Super Series tournament in 2019, defeating the likes of Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Regis Prograis in the finals. Taylor’s ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw, utilizing his footwork while maintaining a high work rate, makes him one of the toughest matchups in the sport. “This fight means the world to me,” said Taylor at the final press conference. “Puts my name in the history books as one of the best Scottish fighters in history. I have trained so hard for this fight. I dedicated my whole life to the sport. “I’m so confident. This is a pure boxing fight. I’m confident I’m getting the KO on Saturday.” The world title landscape in boxing is co

Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor Will Take Gold Over Glory in Undisputed Title Fight

By: Hector Franco

Tomorrow night in Las Vegas, the two best fighters in the junior welterweight division will attempt to do something special.

Unified WBC and WBO champion Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) will face off against IBF and WBA champion Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) to determine the undisputed champion in the division.

Less than four years ago, Crawford became the first undisputed junior welterweight champion in the four-belt era when he knocked out Namibia’s Julius Indongo in the third round with a body shot in July 2017.

Unfortunately, even the term undisputed in the sport of boxing can be disputed.

This week, current WBA super featherweight and lightweight champion Gervonta Davis held a press conference to formally announce his move up to junior welterweight to take on Mario Barrios. That fight will be for a version of the WBA junior welterweight title.

The WBA’s insistent on having interim, regular and super champions in each division has caused the world title scene in boxing to become exponentially convoluted.

In 1983 when the International Boxing Federation (IBF) was first established, the man known as arguably the greatest junior welterweight in history, Aaron Pryor, became the inaugural IBF champion for the division in the summer of 1984.

A few years later, the WBO was established in 1988; however, that title took years to be taken more seriously. Fighters like Oscar De La Hoya and Marco Antonio Barrera gave the WBO title prestige and eventually joined the WBC, WBA, and IBF as one of the four major titles in the sport.

Whether a belt counts or doesn’t, is often held in the context of the era.

Jamaica’s O'Neil Bell is an often forgotten undisputed champion. In 2006, he stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck in 10 rounds to win the WBA, IBF, and WBA cruiserweight titles. He was the division’s first undisputed champion since Evander Holyfield ran the division in the 1980s.

Five years earlier, Kostya Tszyu took out Zab Judah in the second round to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion. On both occasions, the WBO title wasn’t needed to determine undisputed status.

The fighters themselves can’t do much about the number of titles in the sport. All they can do is step in the ring and perform.

Luckily over the last few years, boxing has seen more fights that had all four major titles on the line in men’s and women’s boxing with Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields, and the upcoming junior middleweight clash between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano.

The sports most significant current superstar Saul Alvarez may fight for the undisputed super middleweight championship should he meet Caleb Plant this upcoming fall.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the world title scene in this era, the winner between Ramirez and Taylor will have set a legacy for themselves at junior welterweight. They will join fighters like Antonio Cervantes, Julio Cesar Chavez, Aaron Pryor, and Kostya Tszyu as the best the division has produced in its history.

The bout also has nationalistic implications as Ramirez would become Mexico’s first undisputed champion with a victory, and Taylor would become the first from Scotland.

The current betting odds as of this writing have Taylor as a -264 favorite and Ramirez as a +200 underdog.

Both men have a similar resume with Ramirez being the better-known amateur winning the gold medal at the 2010, 2011, and 2012 United States amateur championships.

As a professional, Ramirez holds wins over Maurice Hooker, Viktor Postol, Jose Zepeda, Antonio Orozco, and Amir Imam. Against Taylor, his experience won’t allow him to be intimidated.

“I’ve never been a fan of opinions of who is the best fighter out there,” Ramirez stated at the final press conference. “Sometimes people don’t understand that, especially at this level, each fight is going to be tough. I always train like I’m the underdog.

“I always train like each fight is the biggest fight of my career. I can’t afford to lose. That’s always been my mentality. I always find a way to win.”

For Taylor, his resume backs up any bravado that he exudes. He was also a successful amateur with over 150 fights winning the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games.

Most notably, as a professional, Taylor won the World Boxing Super Series tournament in 2019, defeating the likes of Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Regis Prograis in the finals.

Taylor’s ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw, utilizing his footwork while maintaining a high work rate, makes him one of the toughest matchups in the sport.

“This fight means the world to me,” said Taylor at the final press conference. “Puts my name in the history books as one of the best Scottish fighters in history. I have trained so hard for this fight. I dedicated my whole life to the sport.

“I’m so confident. This is a pure boxing fight. I’m confident I’m getting the KO on Saturday.”

The world title landscape in boxing is confusing, but this Saturday night, none of that matters. Two men who have proven to be the best in their division, undefeated and in their prime, will face off for legacy.

Boxing at its best is the greatest show on earth. Ramirez-Taylor has the potential to be boxing at the highest level, and none of the world title organizations can change that.

The post Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor Will Take Gold Over Glory in Undisputed Title Fight appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

Source : Boxing Insider More   

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Alexander Krassyuk, Manager Of Oleksandr Usyk, Sits down With BoxingInsider.com To Discuss Usyk’s Immediate Future

By: Hans Themistode The heavyweight division was slowly evolving from a jumbled mess to a much clearer picture. By all accounts, WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury, was set to take on unified champion Anthony Joshua this coming Summer. Those plans, of course, were recently derailed as former belt holder Deontay Wilder has effectively moved ahead of Joshua and will now face Fury in a third showdown between the pair thanks to arbitrator Daniel Weinstein. But while most of the boxing world has grown apoplectic with the postponement of Joshua vs Fury, heavyweight contender Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) couldn't stop himself from smiling. The Ukrainian native has long been awaiting his chance to fulfill his own dreams of becoming a heavyweight belt holder. Even with a mandated position by the WBO, Usyk reluctantly moved out of the way to allow their undisputed showdown to take place while he, in turn, would face former amateur rival, Joe Joyce. Although it's been mostly mums the word behind the scenes, both team Usyk and Joyce have dealt with a number of speed bumps along the way to making their showdown a reality. Now, however, with Fury out of the picture, Usyk doesn't see the value in staying the course. “We were going through negotiations with Joe Joyce’s team,” said Alexander Krassyuk, manager of Usyk to BoxingInsider.com during a recent interview. “But, things were not going so smoothly financially. According to our calculations, the percentage of the purse split was 93% to 7% in favor of Usyk. But, the WBO ruling was that a fighter cannot receive less than 20%. Joyce’s team went to the grievance committee of the WBO and said that 80-20 was not fair. We were supposed to have the hearing but it makes more sense for Usyk to fight the champion, Anthony Joshua. I’m in negotiations with Eddie Hearn to put a date together and put the figures together.” For as badly as Usyk wants to wrap heavyweight gold around his waist, Krassyuk believes his fighter has been more than fair. Time and time again, the former Olympic gold medalist shoved his dreams to the side in order to placate the wishes of Joshua. In a bid not to stir the pot, Krassyuk details the long two-year wait his Ukrainian star endured. “We gave Joshua many breaks,” explained Krassyuk. “If you take a look back at 2019, Usyk was appointed the mandatory when Andy Ruiz was the champion but Usyk allowed AJ to have the rematch with Ruiz. After AJ got back his belts, the immediate mandatory clause was sanctioned by the WBO. The IBF sanctioning body and Kubrat Pulev were also mandatory and they were in that position before us so we made a deal. We agreed to fight Dereck Chisora, they would give us some step aside money, Joshua would fight Pulev and we would get to fight Joshua next. Then, of course, AJ and Fury decided they wanted to fight and we were willing to allow a third fight for AJ but now, I believe it's our turn.” Throughout it all, Usyk has remained both patient and inactive. At one point, Krassyuk remembers a time where Usyk seemingly slept in the gym and fought stellar competition frequently. Now, through no fault of his own, the pound-for-pound star has spent more of his time sequestered on the sidelines due to various reasons. Since moving up to the heavyweight division in 2019, Usyk has only fought twice. Once, against the previously mentioned Chisora and just before that, against journeymen Chazz Witherspoon. Normally following his ring appearances, Usyk’s skills are heavily praised. Yet, with two lackluster performances, many have given him an incredulous look as they have questioned whether or not he has the physicality and aggression to excel at the next level. Answering that question with an emphatic no, was former opponent, Dereck Chisora. “He didn’t have any power,” said Chisora following his defeat to Usyk. “AJ would eat him up, Fury would eat him up. His style of boxing isn't made for the heavyweights.” A back and forth argument between Krassyuk and Chisora may entertain fans, but the long-time manager has no interest in doing so. All he asks is that Chisora and everyone else who doubts Usyk for that matter, simply take a look at his resume. “Usyk is an elite fighter, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, former cruiserweight undisputed champion, he is elite.” At the moment, the heavyweight division is mostly viewed as a three horse race. As Wilder, Joshua and Fury are all routinely mentioned near the top of the weight class, Krassyuk is firmly under the belief that Uysk will soon be given the opportunity to prove that he is a step above them all. While he remains confident that his long-time star will pick up the win no matter whom he faces, Krassyuk does acknowledge that although they are all tough fights, one of those three fighters could prove to be the toughest fight of Usyk's career. “I think he’s going to fight all of those guys but Fury would probably be the toughest fight.” The post Alexan

Alexander Krassyuk, Manager Of Oleksandr Usyk, Sits down With BoxingInsider.com To Discuss Usyk’s Immediate Future

By: Hans Themistode

The heavyweight division was slowly evolving from a jumbled mess to a much clearer picture. By all accounts, WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury, was set to take on unified champion Anthony Joshua this coming Summer.

Those plans, of course, were recently derailed as former belt holder Deontay Wilder has effectively moved ahead of Joshua and will now face Fury in a third showdown between the pair thanks to arbitrator Daniel Weinstein. But while most of the boxing world has grown apoplectic with the postponement of Joshua vs Fury, heavyweight contender Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) couldn't stop himself from smiling.

The Ukrainian native has long been awaiting his chance to fulfill his own dreams of becoming a heavyweight belt holder. Even with a mandated position by the WBO, Usyk reluctantly moved out of the way to allow their undisputed showdown to take place while he, in turn, would face former amateur rival, Joe Joyce.

Although it's been mostly mums the word behind the scenes, both team Usyk and Joyce have dealt with a number of speed bumps along the way to making their showdown a reality. Now, however, with Fury out of the picture, Usyk doesn't see the value in staying the course.

“We were going through negotiations with Joe Joyce’s team,” said Alexander Krassyuk, manager of Usyk to BoxingInsider.com during a recent interview. “But, things were not going so smoothly financially. According to our calculations, the percentage of the purse split was 93% to 7% in favor of Usyk. But, the WBO ruling was that a fighter cannot receive less than 20%. Joyce’s team went to the grievance committee of the WBO and said that 80-20 was not fair. We were supposed to have the hearing but it makes more sense for Usyk to fight the champion, Anthony Joshua. I’m in negotiations with Eddie Hearn to put a date together and put the figures together.”

For as badly as Usyk wants to wrap heavyweight gold around his waist, Krassyuk believes his fighter has been more than fair. Time and time again, the former Olympic gold medalist shoved his dreams to the side in order to placate the wishes of Joshua.

In a bid not to stir the pot, Krassyuk details the long two-year wait his Ukrainian star endured.

“We gave Joshua many breaks,” explained Krassyuk. “If you take a look back at 2019, Usyk was appointed the mandatory when Andy Ruiz was the champion but Usyk allowed AJ to have the rematch with Ruiz. After AJ got back his belts, the immediate mandatory clause was sanctioned by the WBO. The IBF sanctioning body and Kubrat Pulev were also mandatory and they were in that position before us so we made a deal. We agreed to fight Dereck Chisora, they would give us some step aside money, Joshua would fight Pulev and we would get to fight Joshua next. Then, of course, AJ and Fury decided they wanted to fight and we were willing to allow a third fight for AJ but now, I believe it's our turn.”

Throughout it all, Usyk has remained both patient and inactive. At one point, Krassyuk remembers a time where Usyk seemingly slept in the gym and fought stellar competition frequently. Now, through no fault of his own, the pound-for-pound star has spent more of his time sequestered on the sidelines due to various reasons. Since moving up to the heavyweight division in 2019, Usyk has only fought twice. Once, against the previously mentioned Chisora and just before that, against journeymen Chazz Witherspoon.

Normally following his ring appearances, Usyk’s skills are heavily praised. Yet, with two lackluster performances, many have given him an incredulous look as they have questioned whether or not he has the physicality and aggression to excel at the next level. Answering that question with an emphatic no, was former opponent, Dereck Chisora.

“He didn’t have any power,” said Chisora following his defeat to Usyk. “AJ would eat him up, Fury would eat him up. His style of boxing isn't made for the heavyweights.”

A back and forth argument between Krassyuk and Chisora may entertain fans, but the long-time manager has no interest in doing so. All he asks is that Chisora and everyone else who doubts Usyk for that matter, simply take a look at his resume.

“Usyk is an elite fighter, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, former cruiserweight undisputed champion, he is elite.”

At the moment, the heavyweight division is mostly viewed as a three horse race. As Wilder, Joshua and Fury are all routinely mentioned near the top of the weight class, Krassyuk is firmly under the belief that Uysk will soon be given the opportunity to prove that he is a step above them all. While he remains confident that his long-time star will pick up the win no matter whom he faces, Krassyuk does acknowledge that although they are all tough fights, one of those three fighters could prove to be the toughest fight of Usyk's career.

“I think he’s going to fight all of those guys but Fury would probably be the toughest fight.”

The post Alexander Krassyuk, Manager Of Oleksandr Usyk, Sits down With BoxingInsider.com To Discuss Usyk’s Immediate Future appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

Source : Boxing Insider More   

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