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Josh Taylor plotting US invasion after mandatory title defence in Scotland

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 champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 16-0 (12) will make the first defence of his unified crown against Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong 16-0 (13) at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday, May 2.

The 29-year-old Scottish southpaw scored a sensational 12-round victory over hard-hitting American Regis Prograis to add the WBA belt to his IBF title in the final of the World Boxing Super Series last October.

Taylor is expected to fight in the US later this year if he is successful against IBF mandatory Khongsong.

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“I am super excited to kickstart the new year with a fresh start and with a new team. It’s great to have the teams at MTK Global, Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank in my corner,” Taylor said.

“I’m delighted to be fighting on BT Sport and ESPN+ and even more so that this is happening in Scotland in front of a home crowd who have waited so long for this! I can’t wait to get the ball rolling with putting on a great performance.”

MTK Global CEO Sandra Vaughan added: “We’re delighted to be working with BT Sport and ESPN+ to put on a show of this magnitude in Scotland with an incredible talent in Josh Taylor.

“Josh is a true ambassador for Scottish boxing and we are thrilled to be working with him and the teams at Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank to make this happen.”

Taylor’s US promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said he is excited to see his new signing return to the ring.

“Josh Taylor is a truly special fighter who is set on becoming the undisputed 140-pound champion in 2020. I have no doubt he will put on a sensational performance for his home fans. I can’t wait for ‘The Tartan Tornado’ to return,” Arum said.

Taylor’s UK promoter Frank Warren added: “I am delighted that we are able to be part of bringing Josh Taylor to Glasgow at such an important juncture in his career.

“Josh is destined for many big fights over in the States but he has got business to attend to first on the home front and this presents an opportunity for the Scottish fans to really get behind their man in huge world title action.”

Taylor will be fighting at the same venue at which he first became a world champion in May 2019 when he comfortably outpointed Ivan Baranchyk.

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