Josh Taylor etched his name into the boxing history books last weekend when he beat Jose Ramirez to become the undisputed light-welterweight world champion, becoming the first British boxer in the four-belt era to be recognised by all four of the world governing bodies.
The Tartan Tornado’s huge showdown with Ramirez, easily one of the most momentous boxing matches involving a Brit in recent memory, wasn’t picked up by any of the UK’s major broadcasters, something that former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi has described as an “utter disgrace.”
“I think he’s good but I have to say shame, shame, shame on the UK networks for not televising this fight, that is a disgrace. That is an absolute and utter disgrace that you have a fighter this good,” Malignaggi told the Betfred Boxing Show.
“British boxing has been in a great run of form for, I’d probably say the past decade - really, really good, maybe even a little longer. To say Josh Taylor is the best British fighter right now, I don’t think it’s crazy. That’s not a disrespect to the rest of the British fighters out there, like a Tyson Fury or anything, but Taylor is unbelievable.
“To me, he’s the best Scottish fighter ever and he’s clearly the best of the UK fighters right now. Knowing that the UK has a very good talent base - that says a lot. So for the UK TV networks to not televise this fight, of all fights, this fight, the unification, is an absolute and utter disgrace and the guy should never be disrespected like this. It’s an absolute disrespect to a quality champion.”
There’s been a lot of talk that the 30-year-old southpaw could be destined to take on pound-for-pound star and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, the only other man to become undisputed at light-welterweight, a feat the Nebraskan achieved in 2017. Crawford is widely considered to be one of the best fighters on the planet right now but Malignaggi believes Taylor deserves to be in the same conversation as ‘Bud.’
“I think Josh Taylor is possibly the UK’s best fighter right now. Really, really impressive, and the run of form he’s had is really even extra impressive.
“He’s taken the ‘0s’ of three very good fighters; [Ivan] Baranchyk, [Regis] Prograis and now [Jose] Ramirez. He’s won the World Boxing Super Series, now he’s unified the 140lb championship.
“He’s the second 140-pounder to unify all four belts - recently Terence Crawford has done it as well but if I’ve got to make comparisons, I think Josh Taylor had a more difficult run towards unifying the 140lb title and was still able to do it and it wouldn’t be crazy to name Taylor in the same conversation as Crawford right now.”