By: Sean Crose
Undefeated junior welterweight titlist Josh Taylor made big news on Thursday when it was announced the 16-0 Scot was signing with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. The move is particularly significant for two reasons. First, Taylor can possibly become the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world. Undisputed champions are far too rare in contemporary boxing. Taylor already holds the WBA and IBF divisional titles as it is. To make things even more mouthwatering, WBO and WBC junior welterweight titlist Jose Ramirez is a Top Rank fighter.
Perhaps equally important is the fact that Taylor might move up in weight and challenge Top Rank star Terence Crawford for Crawford’s WBO welterweight title. Crawford, one of the big talents in the business, has been unable to land a major bout due to promotional red tape. Now that Taylor is fighting under the same banner as Crawford, that all may change.
“Josh Taylor is one of the world’s best fighters,” said Arum, “and he is a fight fan’s fighter, a tough guy willing to fight anyone we put in front of him.” Arum made it clear that big fights might well be in his new acquisition’s future. “Whether it’s Jose Ramirez in a fight for the undisputed junior welterweight title or any of the welterweights out there,” Arum said, “he’s ready for the biggest challenges. I want to thank Josh’s advisors at MTK Global, who have the same goal as us, which is to make him an international star.”
Taylor took the opportunity to let it be known he has his sights set on the future. “A new year, a new decade with lots of new beginnings,” he claimed, “and I’m starting this new decade with a big bang.” The native of Scotland spoke of now having a strong team in place which can elevate his career. “2019 was a huge year for me, but 2020 looks set to be even bigger and I’m delighted to have signed a deal with Top Rank and ESPN and an advisory contract with MTK Global. I believe I am with the best team to take my career to the next level. I couldn’t ask for a better partnership, and I know the future looks bright with this team lighting the way.”
Being with Top Rank, Taylor will now likely have his fights aired on ESPN. His last fight was a decisive win over Regis Prograis last October in a highly publicized matchup. By besting Prograis, Taylor won the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight title. He also picked up the WBA title in the same bout. Things may not be as smooth as Taylor and Arum hope, however, as Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions has expressed displeasure at Thursday’s announcement. “Josh Taylor is under an exclusive worldwide promotional contract with Cyclone Promotions,” the company stated in a release. Aside from Prograis, Taylor, who is known as the “Tartan Tornado,” has defeated such notables as Viktor Postol, Miguel Vazquez, and Ohara Davis.