Josh Taylor vs. Apinun Khongsong purse bid won by Sampson Boxing
By Jeff Aronow: Sampson Boxing won Friday’s purse bid for the Josh Taylor vs Apinun Khongsong fight with a winning bid of $1.32 million in topping the next highest bid of $1.26 million by Top Rank. The fight has to take place within 90 days by no later than April 20, 2020.
Going into the purse bid, it was expected that Taylor’s new promoters at Top Rank Boxing would put in the winning bid, but surprisingly they were out-bid.
Taylor will defend against Khongsong in UK
Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, who promote the 23-year-old Khongsong confirmed that they plan on staging the Taylor fight in the UK. It could take place in Taylor’s home country of Scotland. Taylor doesn’t mind making simple title defenses like this, as he’s got bigger things planned.
“I am honored to be promoting this fight between these two warriors and I want to make it clear that I would not cheat UK fans of seeing this fight live,” said Lewkowicz. “It will be in Great Britain or Scotland. Please be patient, I will announce the full details very soon.”
Josh Taylor coming off win over Prograis
Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) will be defending his IBF light welterweight title against #1 IBF mandatory Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs). Josh is coming off of a big win over WBA champ Regis Prograis last October in the WBSS final. Taylor won over a lot of new fans in beating the previously unbeaten Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) by a 12 round decision.
It was close in the end, thanks to Prograis rallying in the championship rounds. Taylor had an eye injury that hampered his ability to pull away at the end, but Prograis’ relentless pressure had a lot to do with him coming on late.
Taylor targeting Jose Ramirez
It’s not a fight high on the agenda of boxing fans for what they want to see from Taylor, but it’s a fight that he needs to get out of the way before facing WBC/WBO 140-lb champion Jose Ramirez in a unification fight later this year. Taylor just needs to get the 23-year-old Khongsong out of the way so he can wait on the winner of the Ramirez vs. Viktor Postol fight.
Ramirez (28-0, 17 KOs) was supposed to be defending his WBC light welterweight title next month against Postol on February 1 in Hainan, China on ESPN, but the fight will be postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the area.
Top Rank hasn’t said anything about wanting to move the Ramirez-Postol fight to another country that isn’t dealing with a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus. If Top Rank chooses to keep the Ramirez vs. Postol fight staged in Hainan, China, there’s no telling how long it’ll take before they’re given all clear to return. Presumably the fight will have to wait until the spring before they can safely fight there.
Khongsong has a lot of punching power
Taylor, 29, is going to need to be careful with the hard hitting Khongsong, because he’s got one-punch power. Although his opposition has been weak, the power that Khongsong possesses is undeniable. It’s been three years since one of Khongsong’s opponents was able to go the distance with him in Adam Diu Abdulhamid.
In Khongsong’s last six fights, he’s knocked out these fighters:
- Yosmar Kefi – TKO 2
- Akihiro Kondo – KO 5
- Sonny Katiandagho – TKO 3
- Ray Rahardjo – TKO 5
- Jason Egera – KO 6
- Rusmin Kie Raha – KO 1