Josh Taylor: The undisputed champ ready to carry the flag for Sky Sports Boxing 2.0

The new unified light welterweight champion of the world is prepared to lead Sky Sports Boxing into a new era...

Last month, Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn announced that they had signed a five-year exclusive deal with DAZN.

The streaming service was founded in 2015 and since then, it has grown to become one of the elite sport providers.

This is clearly an exciting opportunity for Hearn and his fighters, however this deal left Sky Sports Boxing in limbo.

Matchroom and Sky were at the forefront of British boxing together for more than 25 years. Given the reach that Sky Sports has, it would have been a blow to boxing had they decided to step away from the sport.

Thankfully, they are not going anywhere anytime soon…

Shortly after the news, Sky announced a four-year deal with Top Rank. They are one of the most well-known boxing promotions in the world and they are headed up by the legendary Bob Arum.

Their roster of fighters is impressive, as they have the likes of Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko contracted to them.

Taylor already has legendary status

But perhaps the most important fighter that they have, to Sky Sports at least, is Scotland's Josh Taylor.

The "Tartan Tornado" is widely recognised as one of the best pound for pound fighters around today.

He won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and since turning professional, he has continued to go from strength to strength.

Taylor has fought 18 times on the pro circuit and his resume is already frightening.

Between 2018 and 2019, he took part in the second season of the World Boxing Super Series. The light welterweight beat Ryan Martin before overcoming Ivan Baranchyk to pick up the IBF world title in May 2019.

Taylor then faced Regis Prograis in the final in October 2019 at The O2 Arena in London. Many had Prograis the favourite going into this fight.

But the Scotsman showed his warrior spirit to come out on top via majority decision at the end of a legitimate Fight of the Year contender. As a result of his infectious personality, Taylor's popularity has grown immensely.

The 30-year-old took an eleven-month hiatus as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic before he picked up a first-round stoppage victory over Apinun Khongsong at York Hall in September last year.

This set him up for the toughest fight of his career to date. In May, he stepped into the ring against the WBC and WBO light welterweight world champion, Jose Ramirez, in a unification bout in Las Vegas.

Fighting on away turf against an unbeaten Ramirez, the odds were stacked against Taylor. But he had proven both as an amateur and as a pro that he was justifiably one of the best in the division.

His fanbase and his team knew he had it in him to defeat Ramirez, and they were right to back their man.

After a tense build-up, Taylor focused on the task at hand on fight night. The Scot put in a truly breathtaking 12-round masterclass to come out victorious.

Taylor knocked Ramirez down four times between rounds six and seven en route to a convincing and well-deserved unanimous decision victory.

This performance and victory has rightly been recognised as one of the best ever from a Brit on away soil.

It is just sad that not many people got to see it…

Despite the event being headlined by Taylor vying to become the first unified world champion from Britain during the four-belt era, the bout was not picked up by Sky Sports or BT Sport.

Instead, the event was broadcasted on FITE TV. This was ideal for pure boxing fans, as they could have caught the fight without much trouble. Yet very few casual boxing fans would have tuned in to watch what was a historic night in boxing involving one of their own.

This was a shame for Taylor, but in the long term, it could prove to be a blessing for him.

Crawford fight huge for Sky

The undisputed king now has national hero status in Scotland and is cementing his legacy as one of Britain's greatest to have laced up a pair of gloves.

This Sky Sports-Top Rank deal has come at the perfect time for Taylor. He is on the crest of a wave as unified champion and will spearhead Sky Sports 2.0.

Aged 30, Taylor is now approaching his peak in boxing and as he appears on shows like A League of Their Own, his level of popularity will only grow with the more exposure he gets to the wider sporting fanbase.

The Sky Sports-Top Rank partnership is win-win for both parties. With Taylor carrying the flag for them in the UK, DAZN and BT Sport will still have a genuine competitor in Sky Sports, and this can only be good for boxing.

A super fight against Crawford is being discussed for next year, which would be the first defining event of Sky Sports Boxing's new era.

The build-up and fight itself has the potential to be colossal. At this stage, these are the level of fights Taylor and Sky Sports need.

Taylor has done everything the right way in his career, while not reaping the rewards of that financially. But together with Sky Sports, this should be the start of a beautiful friendship…

Latest Boxing Videos