Earlier today, Top Rank officially announced that the highly anticipated Junior Welterweight title unification bout between two-belt champions Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) and Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) will take place on May 22.
The bout, which will crown an undisputed champion at 140 pounds for only the second time in the modern era, will be broadcast live on ESPN in the United States.
“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,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”
The 28-year-old Ramirez, who currently holds the WBC and WBO titles, won the vacant WBC title with a victory over Amir Imam in 2018 and then defended it twice with victories over Antonio Orozco and Jose Zepeda. The Mexican-American native of California then unified titles with a sixth-round TKO victory over Maurice Hooker in 2019.
Most recently, he defended his titles with a majority decision win over Viktor Postol last August.
Against Taylor, Ramirez, who has put a focus on giving back to California’s Central Valley, will face his toughest test to date.
“I look forward to making history by becoming the first boxer of Mexican descent to hold all four major world title belts,” Ramirez said. “I dedicate this fight to the Central Valley farm workers, who are out there every day helping feed the world. This fight is big, but nothing is bigger than getting vaccinations to the farm workers right now in the Central Valley.”
Taylor, a native of Scotland, currently holds the WBA (Super), IBF, and Ring Magazine 140-pound titles. The 30-year-old southpaw won the IBF title with a decision victory over Ivan Baranchyk in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final in 2019. He then added the WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine titles to his collection with a victory over Regis Prograis in the tournament final.
Most recently, Taylor knocked out Apinun Khongsong this past September.
“I’m excited it’s been finalized and over the line,” Taylor said. “I can’t wait to get in there for the biggest fight of my career. Fighting for the undisputed title is something all boxers dream about.”
A location and venue have not yet been determined for the bout, although The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger has reported that it will take place in Las Vegas.