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Jose Ramirez wasn’t his usual impressive self, but he did enough Saturday night in Las Vegas to remain in position for a mega-fight against Scotland’s Josh Taylor.

Ramirez successfully defended his WBC and WBO 140-pound world championship belts with a 12-round majority decision over Viktor Postol at the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Ramirez Missed Passion of Ringside Fans

After the fight, the Avenal native and former Fresno State student said he felt a little rusty after a layoff of more than a year. He also said he missed the excitement provided by the crowd. Saturday’s bout was waged “under the bubble” and without fans because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I went in there a little too cold, you know?” Ramirez said. “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.

“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.”

The judges scored the bout 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112.

Ramirez Lands Big Blows, But Can’t Put Postol Away

Ramirez was far and away the busier fighter. And he landed the biggest blows, especially in the seventh and eighth rounds. But Ramirez had a hard time overcoming Postol’s trademark jab and failed to impose his will against the former 140-pound champion, who dropped to 31-3.

With the victory, Ramirez improved to 26-0 and has a chance of becoming the first Hispanic boxer to hold all four major title belts. Taylor, who is 16-0 and the WBA and IBF title-holder, faces challenger Apinun Khongsong on Sept. 26.

“Josh Taylor is on a collision course to a fight for the undisputed title (against Ramirez), but he must first get past a very tough Thai fighter in Khongsong,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said.

Said Ramirez: “I know I’m going to be much fresher and stronger when I do face Josh Taylor.”

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