Sunday, 30 May 2021


First and foremost: congratulations to Josh Taylor on becoming undisputed world light welterweight boxing champion last weekend. He now joins the likes of fellow Scot Ken Buchanan, Joe Calzaghe, Jimmy Wilde and Tom Cribb on the list of the all-time great British pugilists and is only the sixth man to become undisputed champion of a weight division in the four belt era. He also possesses The Ring belt, which is usually a good indication of who the real champion in a division is when the belts are dispersed. That he achieved the feat of unifying the belt in spite of obvious bias by both judges and referee makes it all the more special. 



The man he beat, Jose Ramirez, was unbeaten in 26 contests, albeit after just barely scraping past the very good Ukrainian former world champion Viktor Postol, a man whom Taylor beat three years ago on the way to lifting the World Boxing Super Series trophy. Ramirez was a very good opponent, as was Regis Prograis before him, which is why Taylor is so universally highly regarded. After some initial difficulties, particularly with Ramirez's hurtful body punches, Taylor dropped Ramirez in the sixth and seventh rounds. This is where things got very suspicious indeed. Already referee Kenny Bayless had been interfering with the action, finding fault from his winning first round on with Taylor's handling of Ramirez holding and charging in, accusing him of headbutting and holding down respectively. Bayless repeatedly attempted to break Taylor's concentration by tapping him and making eye contact while he was boxing.

But it was the knockdown in the sixth that really highlighted Bayless' bias. Taylor had been growing into the fight after losing rounds two to four, won the fifth well, then dropped Ramirez with a left hook in the sixth. Bayless then gave Ramirez a full twenty seconds before Taylor was allowed to resume, which allowed Ramirez to recover and counter, with Ramirez winning the remainder of the round. The seventh round knockdown was more bizarre, as Bayless went in to break the fighters and then decided not to bother, as there was no real clinch, so much so that Taylor was able to throw a crunching uppercut straight to Ramirez's chin. Bayless again gave Ramirez twenty seconds to recover, which also meant there were only eleven seconds left of the round for Ramirez to survive on still unsteady legs. He then gave Ramirez more recovery time early in the eighth as he warned Taylor to "Watch the mouth," then saying the same thing to Ramirez to bide a little more time while feigning fairness. He stopped Taylor again for supposedly pushing down on his opponent, who was trying to hang on.

Throughout the remainder of the contest, Bayless was continually pawing at Taylor either on the back or the arms. When interviewed on his flight back to Britain, Taylor expressed his disgust with Bayless and the judges, who all scored the bout 114-112 in Taylor's favour. This meant without the two knockdowns Taylor would have either lost or drawn. The fight was close, and again largely because of Bayless' shenanigans, but for Taylor to have lost would have been an injustice. Many of Ramirez's shots in the latter half of the fight were blocked and dodged. In the interview Taylor said he had expressed concern about the choice of referee and judges to his team, but did not speak publicly for fear of swaying them farther against him. He cited Bayless' previous performances, and his performance against Tyson Fury is still fresh in our minds. His hierarchy of bias is obviously:

1. Black anti-Whites (like Floyd Mayweather Jr)

2. Other Blacks

3. Other non-Whites

4. Whites.

We hear all the time of how black boxers were cheated in the past, but never about the reverse. We never hear about how Gerry Cooney was set up to fail against Larry Holmes, for example, nor the racial hatred he faced from Don King and his cronies, who also kept Cooney out of the ring for over a year before his title shot against Holmes. The difference now is that only white boxers face such bias and racial hatred. It is time it was called what it is and that the likes of Kenny Bayless are forced out of boxing. We can all be proud of our boxers, but let's have a level playing field when they fight.

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