Josh Taylor’s IBF mandatory defense against Apinun Khongsong, first scheduled for May 2nd before getting wrecked by the ‘rona, will now officially take place on September 26th at the BT Sport Studio in London.
JUST ANNOUNCED— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 24, 2020
One unified Junior Welterweight champ defends his crown this week.
And now, @JoshTaylorBoxer is scheduled to do the same against the IBF No. 1 challenger, as he and @RAMIREZBOXING aim to solidify an undisputed showdown. #TaylorKhongsong | SEPT 26 | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/PLwgyYMR9n
The fight, first ordered after Taylor’s (16-0, 12 KO) successful unification match with Regis Prograis, went through something of a strange arc. Khongsong’s (16-0, 13 KO) promoter, successfully outbid Top Rank in the January purse bid, only to default on the bid a week later. Then the May 2nd Glasgow date came and went and, well, here we are.
Taylor said, “I’m excited to be back in the ring after a long layoff. The coronavirus had put everything on hold for a few months, so it’s been nice to be in the gym again and back to some normality.
“I didn’t want a warm-up fight, so getting straight back in there against my mandatory challenger is great, as it’s kept me fully focused. I want big fights in my career, so this is an important fight with my belts on the line.
“Training has been going well, and I’m feeling fit and strong. I’ve watched a fair bit of my opponent, and I’ve seen his strengths and weaknesses, and I’m very confident going into this fight. I can’t wait.”
While we’ve seen our fair share of shocking upsets this summer, Khongsong claiming victory would be among the wildest. Outside of his knockout of Akihiro Kondo in last year’s eliminator, the Thai’s record is entirely composed of weak opposition in his homeland. Top Rank shouldn’t have to worry about him upsetting their plans for total super lightweight unification, which begin this Saturday with Jose Ramirez vs. Viktor Postol.
Stateside viewers can catch the event on ESPN+. According to the press release, the undercard details “will follow in due course.”