The junior welterweight unification title bout between Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor will take place May 22 at a venue to be determined in Las Vegas.
Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, and Taylor, the IBF and WBA champion, had initially been planning to fight May 8, but the fight was moved as to not conflict with the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders title fight. Instead, they’ll fight later in the month, headlining a card on ESPN (and simulcast on ESPN+).
“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a news release Tuesday. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO), 28, last fought in August, winning a majority decision over Viktor Postol in his first defense as both the WBC and WBO title holder. He has held the WBC belt since March 17, 2018, when he beat Amir Imam and the WBO belt since July 27, 2019, when he TKO’d Maurice Hooker in the sixth round.
Taylor (17-0, 13 KO) won the IBF title in a May 2019 decision over Ivan Baranchyk and the WBA belt in a majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019. Taylor, 30, last fought in September 2020, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first round.
Both Taylor and Ramirez fought as lightweights in the 2012 Summer Olympics, each losing in the quarterfinals in a division won by Vasiliy Lomachenko. On the same side of the bracket, they would have met up in the semifinals had they kept winning. Now, they’ll fight to unify a professional world title instead.
Terence Crawford was the last fighter the unify the division, a feat he accomplished in 2017. Crawford then vacated the titles with a move up to 147 pounds.