The countdown is on.
WBC and WBO junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez is 12 days away from a legacy-defining undisputed showdown against Josh Taylor, Scotland's WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine kingpin.
It's business as usual for Ramirez, the 2012 U.S. Olympian from California's Central Valley who hopes to become the first four-belt undisputed champion of Mexican descent.
He's spent the better part of two months training in Riverside, California, with Robert Garcia, who has guided his career inside the ring since after his March 2018 title-winning effort over Amir Imam.
With fight week seven days away, Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) is the prohibitive underdog for the first time in his professional career, as Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) is a more than 2-to-1 favorite at most sportsbooks.
Ramirez is aware of public perception, but it doesn't faze him as he enters the sixth world title fight of his career. Taylor earned the prestigious Ring Magazine belt with his October 2019 decision over Regis Prograis, but on May 22, the sport's loftiest prize will be on the line.
As training camp winds down, this is what Ramirez had to say:
"I've always been the underdog. That's my mentality. I am fighting for my place in boxing history. No boxer of Mexican descent has ever held all four world title belts. I'm aware that most people are picking against me, but that only fuels me further."
"In my mind, I'm supposed to win this fight. I don't let the outside noise get to me. No matter what you do, or who you beat, there's always going to be somebody else out there. At this moment, that person is Josh Taylor."
"We both wanted the fight, and I respect him for taking on the challenge. Josh and I are out to make history, and I know I will be the better man on May 22."
"The odds are what they are, but the best junior welterweight, the undisputed champion, will be crowned May 22."
About Ramirez vs. Taylor:
Promoted by Top Rank, Ramirez vs. Taylor is a 12-round showdown for the undisputed junior welterweight world championship, which will take place Saturday, May 22 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The event will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (and simulcast on ESPN+) at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT
The telecast will also feature a 10-round junior welterweight battle between Jose "Chon" Zepeda and "Hammerin" Hank Lundy, in addition to an eight-round junior welterweight tilt between knockout artist Elvis "The Dominican Kid" Rodriguez and Kenneth "Bossman" Sims Jr.