Josh Taylor is desperate to be the man to face Jose Ramirez next after making light work of his latest challenge but the tag of undisputed super-lightweight champion may not come with the contest.
The Scot knocked out Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong in the first round as he defended his IBF and WBA belts in London.
Taylor, who also holds the sought-after Ring Magazine belt, immediately turned his sights to Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion.
Mandatory WBO challenger Jack Catterall is not prepared to step aside and wait while the two champions face off but joint promoters Top Rank hinted the fight could be in the offing.
Well, they’ve both said they want it next.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 26, 2020
The WBO sanctioned the recent title bout between Ramirez and Viktor Postol, which the champion won on a majority decision on August 30, only if the winner then faced Englishman Catterall within 120 days.
A deadline to agree a deal has already passed without any announcement and Ramirez is now being hunted by both Taylor and Catterall.
After his quickfire victory, Taylor, who has also beaten Postol, told BT Sport: “I want Ramirez next, 100 per cent. He’s a very good champion, he is unbeaten like myself, hungry, on top of his game.
“I thought against Postol it wasn’t a very good performance at all. I feel he can perform better than that given the circumstances.
I want @JoshTaylorBoxer next Period. Only message I have is “be ready” because he hasn’t faced anyone like me before. I’m coming with everything. 👊🏽🔥
Vamos con todo a demostrarle a esta cabron algo que nunca a visto. O miedo. 👊🏽
— Jose Ramirez (@RAMIREZBOXING) September 17, 2020
“I want that fight now. I believe I whoop his a** all day long. I just believe I’ve got the beating of him. I never saw anything from him that I haven’t seen before.
“I know the situation with the mandatory but hopefully we can get that worked out. I would like, for selfish and personal reasons, to get that fight next. I feel I deserve it.”
The World Boxing Super Series champion added: “I have been in big fight after big fight for my last four fights, not ducked anyone, never ducked a tournament like someone else. I’m game, I will fight the best whenever they want.”
However, Catterall had a message for both champions straight after Taylor’s fight. While congratulating the Scot, the Chorley fighter told Ramirez on social media: “Over to you defend or vacate?”
18 months at mandatory. Beat everyone asked of me I’m ready to go against the best and test my self. Time waits for one and nothing is guaranteed 🥊 https://t.co/v78G1Jo1B7
— Jack Catterall (@jack_catt93) September 26, 2020
When asked if he would step aside for a fee and a guarantee he would face the winner, the unbeaten 25-year-old said: “18 months at mandatory. Beat everyone asked of me I’m ready to go against the best and test my self. Time waits for one and nothing is guaranteed.”
He added: “I can and will beat Ramirez.”
Taylor said: “If Jack Catterall does get that fight, he does deserve it. I can see his point of view because he’s been mandatory for a very long time and, if I was him, I would want my shot. But personally I want the fight next. I want to be the man to beat him.”
Taylor’s first fight in 11 months after his epic triumph over Regis Prograis proved something of an anti-climax. The mandatory challenger, fighting outside of Asia for the first time, was floored by a body shot and writhed around in agony before ultimately rolling himself out of the ring on to a stretcher.
Taylor, fighting under trainer Ben Davison for the first time, said: “I would have liked to have shown a bit more of what Ben and I have been improving on but, you know what, you don’t get paid overtime.
“I got him out there straight away and I can go and get my usual after-match pint and pizza.”