Undisputed super lightweight champion. Four world titles. The RING magazine belt. The best in his division, one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and arguably the number one fighter in Great Britain right now. Josh Taylor is boxing royalty.
On Saturday in Las Vegas ‘The Tartan Tornado’ weathered occasional storms from Jose Ramirez to add two more titles to his collection giving him boxing’s equivalent of a full house. The Scot now holds all the aces, and it would take a brave individual to bet on any other 10-stone fighter toppling Taylor and the form he is in.
But where does the 30-year-old southpaw go from here? In the current Boxing Social rankings Taylor has wins over four of the nine contenders who make up our top 10 where the “Warrior King”, as he described himself in a post-fight interview with ESPN, sits way out in front.
Boxing Social takes a look at the options available for Taylor and the different routes that could open up or indeed close for him as he enters the peak of his powers.
Record: (26-0, 13 KOs)
WBO super-lightweight number one contender
This could be the traditional homecoming fight for Taylor that can sometimes follow up after a Stateside success for a British fighter. Catterall has waited patiently for his shot at the WBO title and agreed to step aside to allow the undisputed showdown to take place. He has been the WBO’s number one contender since December 2018, a painfully long time to wait for a title shot. Since then, he has had wins against Oscar Amador, Timo Schwarzkopf and Abderrazak Houya. These are a world away from Josh Taylor but that’s almost irrelevant given how long he has waited. Ask Taylor about where his dream venue for a fight would be and the answer is always Edinburgh Castle. A 20–30-minute drive from where Taylor was raised in Prestonpans. There might not be a better opportunity for the dream to be realised. Either way the fight must take place within 90 days per the WBO’s rules.
37-0 (28 KOs)
Current WBO welterweight champion
Undisputed versus undisputed. Crawford became undisputed 140lb champion in August 2017 after a third-round knockout against Julius Indongo. Crawford is elite and has been for several years. Right now, the American sits without a fight and has just watched his biggest rival Errol Spence Jr land a passing of the torch opportunity against Manny Pacquiao. Crawford is a Top Rank fighter as is Taylor, but ‘Bud’ will be a free agent come October unless an extension can be negotiated beforehand. Their promoter Bob Arum believes a fight between the two could happen this autumn, but will Taylor forfeit his undisputed status and titles, plus the Edinburgh Castle dream, to go for two-weight world glory? Will Crawford hang around at TR HQ or cross streets to join PBC making a Taylor fight more difficult to make? It will be interesting alone to see if Crawford does indeed fight before his contract runs out!
Record: (16-0, 12 KOs)
WBA, IBF and WBO champion
*WBC Franchise champion*
Some would also call this Undisputed versus Undisputed or simply the lightweight numero uno moving up a division to go after Taylor. Regardless of the ‘Franchise’ stick in the mud, Taylor v Lopez is an absolutely fascinating prospect but again this is not without its potential problems. ‘The Takeover’ took over the 135lb scene when he outfoxed and out-fought Vasiliy Lomachenko last October. His first defence is against IBF mandatory challenger George Kambosos next month and will be televised on… Triller. The newly fledged boxing promotional platform came in hot to win the bids for the fight leaving behind a soured relationship with Lopez and his promoter Bob Arum. Lopez made no secret of his desire to face the winner of Taylor and Ramirez. But this too may have to wait until 2022 should Taylor only fight once more this year and his next outing being the Edinburgh welcome party.
Record: (26-1, 22 KOs)
WBC number 2 super-lightweight contender
The only blemish on the career of ‘Rougarou’ is a loss to Taylor. Their 2019 World Boxing Super Series final was a modern day classic and was nip and tuck throughout. A rematch feels inevitable but it sits on the backburner for now. One look at the recent social media activity of Prograis and it’s clear the loss irks him and is hungry to get revenge. These two could easily have a trilogy and no-one would complain. For a sequel to happen Prograis is going to have to work himself into a mandatory position.
Record: (40-1, 30 KOs)
WBC number 2 welterweight contender
The 33-year-old promotional free agent still carries star power and is widely regarded as a modern great of the sport. The four-weight world champion began his belt collecting at featherweight eight years ago against Orlando Salido. In the here and now Garcia had hoped to be facing Manny Pacquiao but right now the Californian is seemingly without a path as to where he goes next. Josh Taylor now has Garcia’s attention after the latter watched his gym-mate lose his world titles and told Boxing Social post-fight he would love to fight the new undisputed champion. Garcia and Top Rank have a chequered history so would that get in the way? Taylor v Garcia would be as skilful as a match-up as you are going to see around 140 and 147lbs.
Record: (24-0, 23 KOs)
WBA ‘World’ lightweight champion
WBA ‘Super’ super featherweight champion
‘Tank’ and ‘Hank’ (as Taylor is also known in boxing circles) have crossed paths already, but on social media. Taylor has dismissed the notion of fighting the five-foot five southpaw who had a 2020 KO of the year contender against Leo Santa Cruz. This one feels like a wild card for a few reasons. One of which is that Davis has to overcome Mario Barrios next month to win another one of the WBA’s world titles that isn’t really a world title. Hank v Tank would have a foul-mouthed, bitter and internet friendly build-up that the cameras would be all over. It feels slightly unrealistic just now, but we will get a better idea after June 26.