Unified super lightweight champion Josh Taylor has joined forces with Top Rank and MTK Global, setting the stage for a blockbuster 2020, but now faces a potential legal SNAFU with Cyclone Promotions.
JUST ANNOUNCED: The Tartan Tornado has signed a multi-year deal with Top Rank, and the Junior Welterweight scene just got even more interesting.— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) January 9, 2020
Undefeated unified champion @JoshTaylorBoxer (16-0, 12KO) will make his ESPN debut in 2020. Stay tuned for details. pic.twitter.com/Qbc68RC3JQ
Statement from Josh Taylor’s longtime promoter, Cyclone Promotions, headed by hall-of-fame fighter Barry McGuigan. A messy legal battle could ensue pic.twitter.com/3EP5cOduVz— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) January 9, 2020
This is far from McGuigan’s first high-profile dispute with a major fighter. He has been in a legal battle with Carl Frampton since 2017; Frampton’s own lawsuit, alleging “failure to pay purse money,” heads to court on the 20th. Cyclone isn’t exactly on a winning streak on that front, but could still be a wrench in the gears.
If things go smoothly, though, Taylor (16-0, 12 KO) now has easy access to some terrific matchups, chief among them a clash with fellow unified champ Jose Ramirez for undisputed status should the latter get past Viktor Postol on February 1st. There’s also the potential for Taylor to move up to 147 and give Terence Crawford a much-needed marquee opponent; Taylor is actually the taller of the two by two inches, though like most Crawford foes, he faces a reach disadvantage.
“The Tartan Tornado” has been on a tear these last few years, demolishing Ohara Davies and Miguel Vazquez in a breakout 2017 before running the table in the World Boxing Super Series with wins over Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Regis Prograis. Beating “The Beast” earned him the IBF belt, while his Fight of the Year-candidate war with “Rougarou” added the WBA “super” title to his collection.
So long as Cyclone doesn’t muck things up too badly, this is excellent news that should get Taylor’s fans excited.