Jose Ramirez in optimal condition physically and mentally, unlike in his last fight

·2 min read

One reason Josh Taylor is a 2-1 favorite to defeat Jose Ramirez in their title-unification showdown Saturday might be Ramirez’s performance in his last fight.

Ramirez defeated veteran Viktor Postol by a majority decision to retain his two 140-pound titles last August but it wasn’t a dominating performance, as we’ve come to expect from the former U.S. Olympian.

What went wrong? He was worn out, which he said won’t be a problem this Saturday at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.

The Ramirez-Postol fight was postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning Ramirez essentially endured at least parts of three training camps over most of a full year. He said he threw relatively few punches in the fight because he simply didn’t have the energy to throw more.

“This was a perfect training camp compared to the ones last year,” Ramirez said Thursday during the final news conference. “There was a lot of frustration. The way I train is really hard. The whole year I was training. There was a lot of wear and tear on my body. …

“My problem in that fight [against Postol] was a lack of activity, not throwing that many punches. That was based on me being tired, mentally and physically.”

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) was asked about being the underdog, according to the oddsmakers. He clearly isn’t fazed.

“You know, to be quite honest, this is the biggest fight of my career,” he said. “For this fight I was motivated to train like an underdog even if I was the favorite. The oddsmakers, people’s opinions are not going to help me and they’re not going to help Josh.

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity, the honor to face a guy like Josh, being a part of this great event, one of the most-exciting fights of the year. I’m just happy.”

Ramirez also was asked about what a victory would mean to him.

Of course, his focus is on the task at hand. Most important, he must make weight Friday afternoon before he can step into the ring on Saturday night. However, the concept of becoming a rare undisputed champion certainly isn’t lost on him.

“It would be quite and honor and a blessing, a beautiful thing,” he said. “To be honest, I’m so focused on the fight, just thinking about today and tomorrow, making weight, getting my body the proper nutrients to be strong Saturday so I can go out and perform.

“But I’m definitely enjoying every moment of the experience. I can always speak to my kids and my kids’ kids about it. It will be a part of my legacy.”

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