Josh Taylor (16-0, 12KOs) became the unified light welterweight champion when he defeated Regis Prograis (24-1, 20KOs) this past weekend in the final of the World Boxing Super Series.
It was one of the best fights of the year in which both fighters showcased elite level skill mixed with toughness and heart. Prograis started of well as he landed numerous hard body shots and seemed to be the harder puncher early on. Taylor made adjustments and took many of the middle rounds and both fighters gave it all they had in the championship rounds. When the dust settled, it was Josh Taylor who was given the victory and is now the IBF and WBA world champion. Who’s next for the 28 year-old Scottish fighter? Let’s see.
Ideally, Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17KOs) would be Taylor’s next opponent. The 26-year-old recently became the unified WBO and WBC light welterweight champion when he defeated Maurice Hooker (26-1-3, 17KOs) in July. It was a back and forth fight until Ramirez took over the stopped Hooker in the sixth round. A fight between Ramirez and Taylor would be a contest between the best (and undefeated) two fighters in the 140 pound division, competing for the undisputed championship. The winner of this fight would easily enter the top 10 on every respectable pound-for-pound list. Surprisingly, the fight shouldn’t even be too complicated to make. Despite Ramirez being promoted by Top Rank, he was allowed to go over to DAZN to unify with Hooker. It makes all the sense in the world for old Bob Arum to let him to do that one more time to see who the top dog at 140 pounds is. Ideally the fight would take place in Spring 2020. Now we just have to wait and see if it actually gets made.
If the Jose Ramirez fight can’t be made (which is a possibility) then why not run it back with Regis Prograis. Their first fight was highly competitive and one of the best fights of the year. It would be intriguing to see if Prograis could make adjustments and get the victory or if Josh Taylor shows an even big gap in class this time around. A rematch should be a quick and easy process to make unlike their first contest and I have little doubt that both fighters would be more than willing to take.
A move to welterweight
Honestly speaking, the only two intruiging options for Josh Taylor at 140 are Jose Ramirez and a rematch with Regis Prograis. Everyone else has either been beaten by those three or have a ways to go before being in title contention. If for whatever reason a fight with Ramirez or (less so) a rematch with Prograis can’t come to fruition, Taylor should look to move to the welterweight division. Standing at 5’11 he has the frame for it and would probably look bigger than most welterweights once he fills out. And boy, what an addition to the welterweight division that would be. Taylor at 16-0 has already beaten top competition in Prograis, Viktor Postol, and Ivan Branchyk. It would be massively intriguing to see what he could do at 147 pounds against the likes of Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence, etc. Of course, actually getting those fights made would be a fight in its own right, but being in the same weight class would certainly help.
Josh Taylor is a fast rising start in boxing. At 16-0 he is already a unified champ and being only 28, he has many years left in the sport. He has a big chance of becoming undisputed champion at 140 and will surely have many big fights at 147. The sky is the limit for the Scottish fighter and it will be interesting to see how his career plays out.