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Josh Taylor signs with Top Rank, wants Terence Crawford

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBA and IBF junior welterweight world champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 16-0 (12) has signed a multi-year promotional deal with Top Rank and now has his sights set on an eventual move up to welterweight.

The 29-year-old Scottish southpaw, who is fresh off his thrilling win over Regis Prograis in the World Boxing Super Series final, will make his Top Rank debut on ESPN in 2020.

“Josh Taylor is one of the world’s best fighters, and he is a fight fan’s fighter, a tough guy willing to fight anyone we put in front of him,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

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“Whether it’s Jose Ramirez in a fight for the undisputed junior welterweight title or any of the welterweights out there, 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.”

The promotional arrangement puts Taylor in the frame for a high-profile fight with undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford 36-0 (27), who is also promoted by Top Rank.

“We both now operate under the same banner so there’s no reason for boxing politics to get involved,” Taylor said to The Scotsman.

“If I move up to 147lbs then that fight with Crawford should be easily made. The only negotiating that would need to happen would be if it is going to be here or in America. It’s been an ambition of mine to fight him for a long time.”

Taylor’s decision to split from Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions looks set to lead to a parting of ways with his trainer and Barry’s son, Shane.

“Listen, I’ve got to pay credit to Cyclone where it’s due because they’ve done a great job and put me in a really good position but, I kind of feel I’ve outgrown them,” he said.

“I’m yet to hear from Cyclone but I’m hoping we can be amicable and agree to go our separate ways.

“I think I need a bigger platform to put my name out there and one that I think I deserve. I’ve signed with the biggest promoter in America so I’m absolutely thrilled.

“It doesn’t mean I’m solely committed to fighting in America so I’ll still be fighting in the UK, which is the best of both worlds. I’ve also just bought a new house so I’ll still generally be based here.”

Cyclone Promotions responded to the news with a statement on social media.

“We are very disappointed to read the news today that Josh Taylor has signed a promotional agreement with another promotional company.

“Josh is under an exclusive worldwide promotional contract with Cyclone Promotions.

“We have successfully brought Josh to the pinnacle of the sport from the day that he turned professional, including working alongside other stakeholders in boxing to deliver him the biggest fights.

“Most recently, Josh became IBF World Champion in May 2019 then unified champion in October 2019, and we have been working since then to plan the next stage of his career.

“We are saddened that Josh has felt the need to attempt to break his contract in this manner and frustrated at those who have caused him to do so.”

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