Last week WBA and IBF junior welterweight champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 17-0 (13) said “it only takes one punch in boxing” ahead of his clash with hard-hitting Thai Apinun Khongsong 16-1 (13) ahead of their 12-round championship clash on Saturday night.
That proved to be a salient comment as he knocked out Khongsong with a left hand to the body at 2:41 of the opening frame at London’s York Hall.
The 29-year-old Scottish southpaw was cagey early, boxing up on his toes and wary of Khongsong’s vaunter power. The challenger whipped in some wild overhand rights that fell short of their mark as the champion looked to find his rhythm and range.
Late in the first round the pair tied up and as they fought out of the clinch Taylor landed a seemingly innocuous left to the midsection.
The punch left Khongsong writhing on the canvas long after he was counted out.
“That body shot sank right in,” said Taylor in his post-fight interview with BT Sport in the UK.
“He swings on the break with a hook or the uppercut and I seen that coming.
“I smothered him up, pushed him against the ropes, and as he threw the right hand, I hit him with the left hook. I knew that was a real good shot.”
The victory paved the way for a tantalising four-belt unification bout with WBC and WBO 140-pound champion Jose Carlos Ramirez 26-0 (17) who is coming off a 12-round majority decision win over Viktor Postol last month.
“I want Ramirez next,” Taylor said.
“I wasn’t impressed with his performance in the Postol fight, and I believe I’ll whip his ass all day long.
“I haven’t seen anything from him that I haven’t seen before. I’ve never ducked anyone but being honest I would rather it happened when the fans are back because it’s a huge fight, one of the biggest fights in boxing.
“A fight of that magnitude would be better with the fans there, either on these shores or in America.”
In the main support bout former WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards 16-1 (6) moved up to bantamweight to outpoint Kyle Williams 11-3 (3) over 10.
Referee and lone judge Bob Williams scored the fight 99-91.
The 27-year-old Edwards, who was having his first fight in more than a year, boxed well early and late in the contest but Williams did have moments of success during the middle rounds.
“I needed to shake off the ring rust,” said Edwards in his post-fight interview with BT Sport in the UK.
“Kyle didn’t stop coming for the 10 rounds and he gave me some close rounds. I’m not a bantamweight, I’m a (junior bantamweight), but it was nice to get in there and fight a good opponent in Kyle Williams, who is no mug.
“I’m back, and now we’ll push forward and look for big and better fights.”
On the undercard Romanian super bantamweight Ionut Baluta 14-2 (3) stopped Irishman David Oliver Joyce 12-2 (9) at 1:49 of the third round of their scheduled 10-round contest.