Top Rank now has promotional control of all four major junior welterweight titles after signing Josh Taylor to a promotional deal.
Taylor, who holds the WBA and IBF titles at 140 pounds, has signed a multi-year agreement with Top Rank that will have him make his promotional debut on an ESPN platform sometime in 2020. The deal opens the door for a potential showdown with unified WBC and WBO champion Jose Ramirez, who is also promoted by Top Rank.
A fight between the two champions would then crown boxing’s latest undisputed champion and first 140-pound king since Terence Crawford unified the division back in 2017 when he defeated Julius Indongo.
"A new year, a new decade with lots of new beginnings, and I’m starting this new decade with a big bang. 2019 was a huge year for me, but 2020 looks set to be even bigger and I’m delighted to have signed a deal with Top Rank and ESPN and an advisory contract with MTK Global. I believe I am with the best team to take my career to the next level. I couldn't ask for a better partnership, and I know the future looks bright with this team lighting the way," Taylor said in a press release.
The Scottish champion had a banner year in 2019, winning the World Boxing Super Series and his two world titles. In May, Taylor scored a unanimous decision victory over Ivan Baranchyk to win the IBF title in Glasgow, Scotland in the tournament semifinals. In the finals, which took place in October at the O2 Arena, Taylor scored a win over Regis Prograis by majority decision to unify the WBA and IBF titles.
The idea of having both champions unify the division had been thrown around immediately after Taylor won the tournament, but such a fight is unlikely to happen until much later this year. Ramirez is scheduled to defend his two titles against mandatory challenger Viktor Postol in Haikou, China on February 1 on ESPN (February 2 in China's time).