Unified World super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor will make his return to the ring for his mandatory defence of his IBF title against the unbeaten Thai Apinun Khongsong on Saturday September 26, live on BT Sport and ESPN, and his first fight since singing with MTK Global earlier this year.
Promoted by Frank Warren for Queensberry Promotions and Bob Arum for Top Rank, The Tartan Tornado will make his first appearance in the ring since his triumph in the World Boxing Super Series in London, where he defeated the previously unbeaten Regis Prograis to add the American's WBA title to his own IBF version, while also claiming the WBSS trophy and the coveted Ring Magazine belt.
Taylor, now 16-0 (12 KOs), became world champion during the series when he defeated the then unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk via unanimous decision in Glasgow.
Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs), from Bangkok, worked his way into mandatory position by winning the IBF Pan Pacific and IBF Asia titles. He has knocked out his last six foes, including former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo last February.
Frank Warren said: "Josh is a world class operator and I am delighted that we are playing host to what is an important mandatory defence.
"Josh is doubtless set for many big nights over in the States but he has got business to attend to here first and we are backing him to win, not least because a huge fight with our own Jack Catterall is there to be made a little further down the line.
"We have successfully played our part in bringing boxing back for the fans on TV and I said all along that we would be upping the levels as we go along and that is what we are doing here. I am thrilled we have secured Josh to perform on the BT Sport platform."
Bob Arum said: “Josh Taylor is on a collision course to a fight for the undisputed title, but he must first get past a very tough Thai fighter in Khongsong,”
“We are delighted that Josh’s talents will be shown live to ESPN+ and BT Sport viewers, and I expect a spectacular performance come Sept. 26.”
Jamie Conlan, Vice President of MTK Global, Taylor’s management company said: “Delighted to see the best fighter in the 140 pound division back in action, Josh has used the pandemic to his own advantage using the layoff to spend more time with his new coach Ben Davison and building a relationship together.
"Khongsong provides a real tough test as he’s the mandatory for a reason, undefeated and a big puncher, Josh really needs to be on his game to keep the big fight with Jose Ramirez in the pipeline.”
Undercard for Taylor-Khonsong details will follow in due course.