Josh Taylor took a giant leap into the history books after beating Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas this weekend by becoming the first British boxer in the four-belt era to be world champion and recognised by all four of the world governing bodies.
With history made, Taylor now turns to the future and with a plethora of excellent opportunities on the horizon for the Prestonpans southpaw, don’t expect the history-making to stop here. Here are four men that could come up against the Tartan Tornado next...
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s allure as a pound-for-pound star might be waning after periods of inactivity and lacklustre opposition and the Nebraska native is in danger of becoming boxing’s forgotten champion if he doesn’t step up soon.
Should Taylor wish to vacate his belts and step up to 147 lbs to face Crawford, he would certainly fit the bill as a top-tier opponent for ‘Bud’ and if the Scot should win, he would cement his legacy as, not only one of Britain’s greatest ever, but as one of the finest pugilists on the planet.
After beating Ramirez, Taylor signalled that Crawford is at the top of his wish-list, saying, "I'd like to go up to 147 and chase a real, real big fight like Terence Crawford.
"I'm not gonna sit and call him out and stuff, I think he's a great fighter, but I just think two undisputed champions going at it at 147 would be awesome, amazing."
Should Taylor wish to stay at light-welterweight then Jack Catterall looks most likely to be next in line. Chorley’s Catterall stepped aside from his WBO mandatory against Taylor so that the 30-year-old’s bout with Jose Ramirez would go ahead with all the belts on the line.
Now that Taylor has dispatched Ramirez, Catterall will be expecting his long-awaited crack at the title. It’s a fight that makes sense too - although Taylor would likely win, it has the ingredients to make a fun fight and, having written his name into the history books at the weekend, it would provide the perfect opportunity for a Taylor comeback fight in Glasgow or Edinburgh.
With that showdown likely to come later in the year there’s also the added bonus, touch wood, that there will be a decent crowd in attendance, too.
Another intriguing prospect for Taylor at 140lbs would be a showdown with the lightweight division’s kingpin, Teofimo Lopez, should the American wish to step up. The unified champion stunned the world and established himself as one of the finest fighters in the world when he outfought Vasyl Lomachenko in October.
Lopez, like Taylor, is signed to Top Rank and should be relatively straight forward bout to create, but there are still question marks over his commitment to the promotional company with his next fight, against Australia’s George Kambosos Jr on June 19, happening under the Triller banner.
Taylor beat Regis Prograis to win the World Boxing Super Series in a cracking fight back in 2019 and a rematch between these two wouldn’t be the worst match-up in the world. That defeat was Prograis’ only loss in a 27-fight career and the 32-year-old, who is still highly-ranked at light-welterweight, will be itching to get revenge.
While it’s certainly not the worst fight out there, there isn’t really any overwhelming demand to see Taylor take a step back and fight someone he’s already beaten, especially when there are far more lucrative and legacy-defining scraps on offer. A rematch between these two a little further down the road seems much likelier.