Eddie Hearn approves of Josh Taylor signing with Top Rank

By Boxing News - 03/13/2020 - Comments

By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn approves of IBF/WBA light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor’s decision to sign with Top Rank in the U.S, and he believes the move will help him now get the fights he wants against Jose Ramirez and Terence Crawford.

Had Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) signed with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, he said he would have eventually put him in with Mikey Garcia at some point.

One problem for Hearn is Taylor’s upcoming title defense against his IBF mandatory Apinun Khongsong on May 2 will be potentially going head to head with his Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders fight on the same date. Hearn states that he just finalized the Canelo-Saunders fight, and now he’s got Taylor vs. Khongsong on the same date.

It’s still early yet and it’s unknown whether the Canelo-Saunders and the Taylor-Khongsong will go ahead as planned on those dates without a hitch. Given the recent many cancellations of boxing cards due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s too early to know for sure whether the Canelo vs. Saunders and/or the Taylor vs. Khongsong fights will take place.

Taylor will be at home when he faces IBF mandatory Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) on May 2 at The SSE Hydro, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Taylor can fight Ramirez and Crawford now

“I think Ben Davison is a good trainer. We need young blood in the sport trainer-wise,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Taylor’s new trainer. “Ben is a good trainer. The only tough thing is I just finalized the Billy Joe Saunders [vs. Canelo Alvarez] fight and they’re [Taylor and Khongsong] are fighting on the same night [on May 2].

“They’ll work it out. I think the turning moment was he wants the Jose Ramirez fight, and obviously we can’t deliver that for him,” said Hearn on Taylor choosing to sign with Top Rank. “He knows he’s got it for certain with Top Rank. I think it’s a good move for him, and I wish him all the best.

“That’s an amazing opportunity,” said Hearn on Taylor potentially facing Terence Crawford in the future. “If he signs with us, he probably fights Mikey Garcia, and if he signs with Top Rank, he probably fights Ramirez and might even fight Crawford. So on the strength of that, I think he’s made the right decision,” said Hearn of Taylor.

Once Taylor has fought Ramirez and Terence Crawford, he may run out of opposition to fight with Top Rank. It’ll be interesting to see which direction Taylor goes in after he fights Ramirez and Crawford. Many of the top welterweights are with Premier Boxing Champions.

If Crawford can’t get fights against the PBC fighters like Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or if he can’t fight Manny Pacquiao, he’ll need to figure out a solution. Top Rank can put him in Ramirez and Crawford in rematches, but at some point, the fans will lose interest if the fights aren’t competitive.

Josh needs to take care of business against Khongsong 

“Apinun Khongsong, he’s a tall, rangy fellow, so I got my hands full,” said Taylor on his title defense against IBF mandatory Khongsong on May 2. “I need to take care of business to get the fights [Ramirez and Crawford] that Eddie is talking about,” said Taylor.

There’s little worry of Taylor losing to the little known 23-year-old Khongsong. This is another example of the International Boxing Federation giving a high ranking to a fighter with zero experience against world-class opposition. Khongsong has yet to cut his teeth on a true world-level contender, and it’s very likely that Taylor is going to embarrass him on May 2.

Fans wanted to see a rematch between Taylor and Regis Prograis rather than him facing Khongsong. The rematch with Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) will happen at some stage in the future, seeing that there’s still a lot of interest from fans in watching those two fight. Taylor defeated Prograis by a narrow 12 round majority decision last October in the World Boxing Super Series final at the O2 Arena.

Prograis spent too much time trying to fight Taylor on the inside, which was a mistake. When Prograis finally made the needed adjustments in the championship rounds by staying on the outside, he consistently beat Taylor to the punch. The speed, accuracy and overall superiority of Prograis’s game from the outside showed that he had his number when he was on the outside.

Taylor thinks Saunders can beat Canelo

“I think he can pull it off,” said Taylor on Billy Joe Saunders in his fight against Canelo on May 2nd. “And I think stylistically, he’s all wrong for Canelo with his speed and his movement. I think he can take it or sure,” said Taylor.

Saunders hasn’t performed well in the last year of his career, and he’s going to have problems with Canelo’s speed, power, and counter-punching.

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