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Jose Ramirez gets past Viktor Postol to set up Josh Taylor undisputed clash

Unified super-lightweight champion takes care of Viktor Postol in a tough fight and will now look to meet counterpart Josh Taylor

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Jose Ramirez vs Viktor Postol action (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
Jose Ramirez vs Viktor Postol action (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
WBC/WBO junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez solved the riddle of Viktor "The Iceman" Postol. In his first bout as a unified world champion, Ramirez came on strong late to edge Postol via majority decision by scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112.

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) swept the last three rounds of two of the judges’ cards to pull out the win. Postol (31-3, 12 KOs), a former WBC 140-pound world champion, saw his two-bout winning streak come to an end.

Ramirez kept alive his hopes of unifying the division with WBA/IBF world champion Josh Taylor, a promotional stablemate who bested Postol by unanimous decision in June 2018. Taylor defends his belts Sept. 26 against Apinun Khongsong, live on ESPN+.

Said Ramirez, I went in there a little too cold, you know? I impressed myself. I’m much stronger than most guys think. I just gotta not lose confidence in myself and stick to what I do best and box, let my hands go and not hesitate too much. I think there was a little bit of hesitation throughout the fight.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the ring. There have been a lot of things that have happened in my personal life. It’s been such a long training camp. I think {I went} through the routine instead of, ‘Let’s fight.’

“I felt like I was just in a sparring session. I think I could’ve made the fight a lot easier in my favor, but we live and we learn. This was an amazing experience. I’m just happy I got the win."

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “It was a good fight, but both men were impacted by going through three training camps and the whole situation with COVID-19. That being said, I thought Jose clearly won the fight.”

Barboza: Still Undefeated

Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (24-0, 10 KOs), the fighting pride of South El Monte, Calif., remained unbeaten with a workmanlike unanimous decision (99-90 3x) over Tony "The Lightning" Luis (29-4, 10 KOs), a former interim world title challenger who entered the fight on a 10-bout winning streak.

Barboza applied steady pressure throughout, with the only hiccup coming when referee Mike Ortega deducted a point for low blows.

Ranked in the Top 10 by two of the sanctioning organizations, he has bigger fights on his radar.

Said Barboza, “To be honest, I haven’t fought since last November. I haven’t gone 10 rounds in a while. He was a tough guy. I needed the rounds. I showed a little bit of what I’ve been working on in the corner, going southpaw and all that. I give my performance a ‘B.’ I wasn’t really satisfied because I didn’t get the stoppage. It happens.

“I want {Alex} Saucedo. I think me and him would be a great fight. I know he wants it. I want it, so we could probably get it on soon. If he’s ready, I’ll be ready.”

In other action:

— Elvis "The Dominican Kid" Rodriguez (9-0-1, 9 KOs) scored his third "Bubble" knockout, stopping Cody Wilson (9-3, 6 KOs) with a left hand in the third round of their scheduled six-round welterweight bout. Rodriguez, trained by Freddie Roach, has notched seven consecutive knockouts since a first-round technical draw.
Said Rodriguez, “We knew it was going to be a tough fight because I’m a 140-pound fighter, but this fight took place at 144 pounds. I knew I had to be patient, but I knew that I could set up that knockout.

“When someone like Freddie Roach, a Hall of Famer, a legendary trainer, says that about someone like me, wow, that’s amazing. It’s also bringing some pressure because I have to perform. I know that under him, I’m going to continue to develop my skills, my talent, and I’m not going to let anyone down.”

— Rising lightweight Raymond "Danger" Muratalla (10-0, 8 KOs) extended his knockout streak to five with a seventh-round TKO over Cesar Valenzuela (15-7-1, 5 KOs). Muratalla recovered from a flash knockdown in the second round to dominate the duration of the bout. The accumulation of punishment prompted referee Mike Ortega to stop the fight.

— Bantamweight prospect Gabriel "El Maestro" Muratalla (5-0, 3 KOs), the fighting preschool teacher, improved to 3-0 inside the "Bubble" with a four-round unanimous decision over Justice Bland (2-1). Muratalla rebounded from a first-round knockdown to sweep the final three rounds on the judges’ scorecards, each of whom scored it 38-36.

— Milwaukee native and top middleweight prospect Javier Martinez (2-0) cruised to a six-round unanimous decision over Rance Ward (4-2-1, 2 KOs) by identical scores of 60-54. Martinez, a former U.S. amateur star, turned pro under the Top Rank banner last month.
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