We wait for years to see a British boxer get crowned as an undisputed champion and all of a sudden, like buses, two could turn up at once. This week promoter Bob Arum signalled his intention to stage the long-awaited light-welterweight clash between IBF/WBA champion Josh Taylor and the WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez in May, just a month before he promotes another mouth-watering unification bout between British heavyweights Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
It will be a remarkable slice of boxing history should it happen, but for Josh Taylor and his home nation of Scotland it will mark the most momentous occasion in the ring since Ken Buchanan unified the world lightweight championship against Ruben Navarro 40 years ago next month, a victory which saw the Scot being named the American Boxing Writers’ Association’s 1970 ‘Fighter of the Year’, ahead of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Buchanan is without question the greatest boxer Scotland has ever produced, and should the Tartan Tornado claim victory over Ramirez this year, he will no doubt join his compatriot in the same conversation. Taylor is all too aware of the place in boxing immortality at stake and the 30-year-old has long-expressed his desire in joining his boxing hero in such an exclusive club.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News before the Ramirez fight was announced, it was clear how much Buchanan, now 75 and in full-time care, and the legacy he left behind meant to him.
“To be the undisputed champion is just the stuff that dreams are made of,” he said.
“And then I can take them back to Scotland and show King Kenny Buchanan who only stays just up the road, who isn’t keeping too well at the minute actually.
“It would be lovely to go back and see him with all the belts that he had – [to be] the first person to do it since he did, that would be amazing.”
2021 is shaping up to be a fantastic year in the boxing world, but across Britain and Ireland, with Joshua and Fury’s Battle of Britain, Carl Frampton’s own potential place in the history books in February and Taylor’s date with destiny, we could be in for a landmark year. Enjoy.