Scotland’s Josh Taylor said his unification bout with Jose Ramirez started much earlier than Saturday.
“The plan was to get inside of Ramirez’s head and use his aggression against him. It worked perfectly all week,” Taylor said.
Indeed it did, as Taylor knocked down Ramirez in the sixth and seventh rounds and unanimously outpointed him on Saturday night to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion.
All three judges scored it 114-112.
“I walked him into some good shots,” said Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs).
“I knew he would try for a left hook to the body or the right hook up to the head, the big right hook he’s very good at that. He left himself open, puts his head down and I took a step back and hit him with the uppercut.”
Taylor’s big left counter cross to the jaw dropped Ramirez early in the sixth round and he used a destructive left uppercut in the seventh round. The second knockdown clearly dazed Ramirez, as referee Kenny Bayless had to ask him twice to step forward without stumbling.
“I actually think the referee gave him too much time,” Taylor said. “That should have been fight over.”
Taylor, who already held the WBA and IBF titles, is the first Scottish fighter to attain undisputed status after taking Ramirez’s WBC and WBO belts.
“I thought, after the fifth round, ya know I’m doing really well,” said Ramirez, 28, who had only been knocked down twice previously. “I felt like I was winning the sixth round, too, until the knockdown came.”
On the undercard, Jose Zepeda won a unanimous 10-round decision in his 10-round junior welterweight bout with Hank Lundy, scoring a 98-92 on all three scorecards.
In an eight-round junior welterweight tilt, Kenneth Sims Jr. won a majority decision over Elvis Rodriguez, 78-74, 78-74, 76-76.