Jose Ramirez vs. Josh Taylor bill features exciting Top Rank prospects
Before Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor clash for the undisputed junior welterweight world title Saturday, May 22 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, two featherweight firefights will get the action going.
Mexican contender Jose Enrique Vivas will battle the Robert Garcia-trained Louie Coria in a scheduled eight-rounder.
And, in an eight-rounder with a touch of gold, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez will face Juan Tapia, the fighting pride of Brownsville, Texas.
Vivas-Coria and Ramirez-Tapia are among the undercard fights scheduled to stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT.
Ramirez-Taylor headlines a junior welterweight tripleheader starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+. The main card will also showcase Jose “Chon” Zepeda in a 10-rounder versus “Hammerin” Hank Lundy and unbeaten sensation Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez against former U.S. amateur star Kenneth “Bossman” Sims Jr. in an eight-rounder.
Vivas (20-1, 11 KOs) went 2-0 last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, outlasting Carlos Jackson in a Fight of the Year contender and knocking out John Vincent Moralde in the opening round. A former Mexican amateur standout, Vivas has won three straight bouts since a points loss to Ruben Villa.
Coria (12-4, 7 KOs), from Moreno Valley, California, hopes to break a two-bout losing skid, although both defeats came in brawls that could’ve easily gone his way. Last June, he dropped a majority decision to Adam Lopez, and four months later, he knocked down 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao en route to a disputed unanimous decision verdict.
Ramirez (6-1, 4 KOs) turned his career around following a shocking decision defeat to Adan Gonzales in his professional debut. He avenged that loss last July via shutout decision and most recently knocked out Brandon Valdes (13-1 at the time) in the sixth round. Ramirez makes his 2021 debut against Tapia (10-3, 3 KOs), a seven-year pro who has gone the distance against 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Vladimir Nikitin and pound-for-pound standout Shakur Stevenson.
In other undercard action:
Las Vegas native Andres Cortes (13-0, 7 KOs) will make his 11th consecutive hometown appearance, this time against Eduardo “Thunder” Garza (15-3-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round junior lightweight tilt. Cortes made a memorable impression inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble last July, recovering from a fourth-round knockdown to outpoint Alejandro Salinas.
Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (11-0, 9 KOs), the Robert Garcia-trained lightweight prospect from Fontana, California, will fight Jose Luis Gallegos (20-10, 15 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Muratalla is coming off a third-round stoppage win over Luis Porozo last November on the Terence Crawford-Kell Brook card, his sixth consecutive knockout win.
Middleweight prospect Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (3-0, 1 KO), who was once the top-ranked American amateur at 165 pounds, will fight veteran Calvin Metcalf (10-5-1, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. Martinez last fought Feb. 20 and knocked out Billy Wagner in the first round.