WBA and IBF super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor has moved a step closer to a unification bout with Jose Ramirez
Josh Taylor further enhanced his reputation with a first-round knockout of Apinun Khongsong as he defended his WBA and IBF super-lightweight belts in style.
The Scot started on the front foot and caught the Thai challenger with a left-hand body shot to secure victory after two minutes and 41 seconds of action at York Hall in London.
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The IBF mandatory challenger got off the canvas but then rolled out of the ring under the ropes and left the arena on a stretcher.
The contest – initially due to be staged in Glasgow in May – was Taylor’s first since winning the World Boxing Super Series against Regis Prograis 11 months ago.
Khongsong, 24, had only fought once outside of Thailand, in Japan, and had not fought anyone near the class of Taylor’s opponents, four of whom lost their unbeaten records against the Scot.
And he found the step up in level far too much to handle as Taylor quickly overcame a hurdle in his quest to become undisputed world champion by taking on WBO and WBC champion Jose Ramirez.
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“I knew from watching him on videos, he swings on the break when you’re in close on the clinch, he swings straight away always with a hook and an uppercut,” Taylor told BT Sport.
“I sort of pressed in against him, smothered him up and pushed him against the ropes and as he threw the right hand, I hit him with a left hook which I felt sinking right in.
“I knew it was a real good shot. I didn’t know it hurt to him that extent until I turned round and saw him lying on the floor. When I watched him on the replay it sunk right in, I felt it going right through my arm so I knew it was a good shot.”
Despite the brief nature of the contest, Taylor felt his opponent was dangerous.
“I know people will say ‘aye, right, you’re talking a bit of nonsense here’, but I could go as far as saying that’s the heaviest puncher I have been in with,” he added.
“Very heavy-handed because he came out straight away with a stiff jab and I thought it was quite strong. And then I lunged in with the one-two and he kind of half nicked us on the end of the shot. It never hurt or nothing but I felt the weight of it.
“So that switched me on to take my time and set things up and be patient rather than go in and try and land a heavy shot straight away.”
Sky Sports schedule
The Golden Contract – Sept 30 live on Sky Sports
Ohara Davies vs Tyrone McKenna
Buatsi vs Calic – Oct 4, live on Sky Sports
Joshua Buatsi vs Marko Calic
Chantelle Cameron vs Adriana Dos Santos Araujo
Alen Babic vs Niall Kennedy
Aqib Fiaz vs Kane Baker
Linus Udofia vs John Harding Jr
Ritson vs Vazquez – Oct 17, live on Sky Sports
Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Thomas Patrick Ward
Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte