I think there are a few folks in his realm who can make him look less like the ATG that some hyper enthused fight fans anointed him after Josh Taylor defeated Jose Ramirez Saturday night in Las Vegas.
That said, I respect the hell out of the performance the junior welter ace turned in on the Top Rank show.
No doubt or hedging… in my mind, Josh Taylor, the 17-0 Scot, won the weekend. In my mind, anyway… Who did the NYF Crew think won the weekend?
“FOX Sports and Las Vegas won the weekend as they landed the two biggest fights to take place this summer, Pacquiao vs Spence Jr. and Fury vs. Wilder III,” said NY Fights editor Abe Gonzalez. “Both of these fights are huge and guaranteed box office hits. The third fight between Fury and Wilder already has the interesting backstory which may even sell more than the second one. Then you have the great Manny Pacquaio taking a fight against one of the best welterweights in the world which is Errol Spence Jr. Both fights will be in Vegas. One of them will get the Allegiant Stadium treatment while the other gets the T-Mobile arena. Either way, expect a packed crowd and plenty of attention from purists and casuals.
“Let’s not forget Josh Taylor’s win against Jose Ramirez as that fight lived up to the hype. Taylor becomes the undisputed king at 140 and now has plenty of options to keep that momentum going either at 140 or 147. He keeps proving the doubters wrong so I am interested to see where his career goes from here. Boxing is back so get those DVRs and apps ready as there are plenty of packed Saturdays coming this summer.”
“The weekend definitely belonged to Josh Taylor,” said Jacob Rodriguez of NY Fights. “Here’s why.
1. Kept his composure and weatherd Ramírez’s initial onslaught.
2. It was obvious his game plan was to set up, time and counter Ramirez’s forward assault style of fighting and executed that game plan perfectly.
3. Proved to have the better chin of the two.
4. Capitalized on a key moment in the 7th.
5. Fought smart and didn’t take any unnecessary risk in the championship rounds.
6 Did not let the magnitude of the event and the historical implications of the event rattle is focus. Actually looked like he embraced the moment and had fun.
7. Above all, Scotland’s first ever fucking undisputed champion. That’s an amazing feat and no matter what happens from here on out, he wears that title forever.”
“Josh Taylor won the weekend,” said Vladimir Lik of RING. “He came to America and bested Ramirez to be the top dog at 140. In an era where the best don’t fight the best and there are multiple upon multiple of belt holders in each weight class it’s refreshing to see one fighter to hold all of the straps and there is no doubt who is the best in the division. Further, with the cards being what they were most have observed that if not for the knockdowns the fight may have ended in a draw. I don’t subscribe to that theory. My feeling is if not for the two 10-8 rounds we don’t know if the round would have been scored 10-9 for Taylor or 10-9 for Ramirez. Therefore, it’s possible Taylor could have fought a terrific fight and still lost. He did more than just drop Ramirez twice including if not for the referee having a brief lapse in judgment to allow Ramirez extra time to recover- Taylor might have secured the stoppage. Taylor also won the weekend because now he will have opportunities to defend vs a mandatory or move up to face Crawford for a lot of money.”
Who won the weekend, David Phillips of NY Fights. “Taylor all the way. He took on a fellow undefeated champion (Jose Ramirez) in an extremely competitive fight, squeaking by on the scorecard largely because of two knockdowns he scored in the bout. All three judges saw the fight the same, 114-112. Proving that not all judges are blind. In fact, these three were in sync. If you were worried that wonders would cease, here be proof that they didn't. Taylor not only became the undisputed super lightweight champ, he became the first man of Scottish descent to do so. Let's all raise our kilts to that. Actually, let's not. The world is a scary enough place as it is.”
“Like Vladimir, my pick for the weekend's winner is Josh Taylor,” said Pete Carvill of NY Fights. “The reception he's going to get back in Scotland is going to be UNBELIEVABLE, especially if he starts having title fights in the UK. If I had to pick a loser of the week, I'm going to pick anyone who was looking forward to Fury-Joshua. It's been a fairly ridiculous situation when we've been waiting on announcements-that-there-might-be-an-announcement for weeks for a fight that was ultimately canned, then replaced with two others (Wilder-Fury III, Joshua-Usyk) in such a short space of time. The cynic in me says that everyone involved knew from the outset that Joshua-Fury was a no-go, but they strung it along to try and build interest. That Pacquaio-Spence could be put together and announced, with the none of the toing-and-froing of Joshua-Fury, is a welcome contrast.
“On the other side of this, I burned through Damage by Tris Dixon this weekend. Despite a few quibbles over some of the text (some unclear sentences, a typo or two), Dixon's done a good job of putting together everything we know but don't want to admit about boxing.”
“Kenneth Sims Jr. won the weekend,” said Matt Andrzejewski of NY Fights. “He had fallen short before to lesser opposition on ShoBox and this was supposed to be a showcase for his opponent Elvis Rodriguez. Instead, Sims put together a masterpiece and stole the spotlight, springing the upset of the weekend. And put himself fully in the mix in a loaded 140 pound weight class.”
“Without a doubt Senator Manny Pacquiao with a single graphic that was dropped seemingly out of nowhere to announce a fight against one of the very best in the world,” said Josh Friedman of SiriusXM.
“Boxing won the weekend… a great fight on paper that lived up to the billing,” said Top Rank publicist Evan Korn. “What a night!”
“An entire nation won the weekend,” said publicist Gayle Falkenthal. “As the big dogs, Americans enjoy sporting triumphs regularly. Hell, my home town San Diego had a red hot weekend courtesy Fernando Tatis Jr. and Phil Mickelson.
“We forget what it’s like to be from a small but proud nation like Scotland, where any significant achievement looms so much larger in comparison for its rarity and scope.
“So while Josh Taylor won plenty big, it’s those tartan wearing, Haggis loving Scots who are probably still celebrating their historic win in the ring Saturday.
“To our friends across the pond, enjoy it and give the Tartan Tornado a fine parade, a knighthood, and don’t ever let him pay for a drink again.”
“Kenneth Sims Jr., won the weekend,” said Ryan Songalia of RING. “He’s always been super talented, has a serious amateur pedigree but has been relegated to opponent status for the crime of fighting and losing to good fighters. He came in, smashed the guitar like he's Jimi Hendrix, and gave Elvis Rodriguez his first loss.”