WBA/IBF super lightweight world champion Josh Taylor will make his long-awaited return to The SSE Hydro in Glasgow to face unbeaten Thai contender Apinun Khongsong on Saturday, May 2.
Taylor, from Edinburgh, Scotland, has headlined The SSE Hydro four previous times, where he has drawn raucous crowds.
Promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank, “The Tartan Tornado” will make his first appearance in the ring since his triumph in final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) in London, where he defeated the previously unbeaten Regis Prograis to add the American’s WBA title to his own IBF version.
ESPN+ will have live coverage of Taylor-Khongsong beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
“Josh Taylor is a truly special fighter who is set on becoming the undisputed 140-pound champion in 2020,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I have no doubt he will put on a sensational performance for his home fans. I can’t wait for ‘The Tartan Tornado’ to return.”
“I am delighted that we are able to be part of bringing Josh Taylor to Glasgow at such an important juncture in his career,” Warren said. “Josh is destined for many big fights over in the States, but he has got business to attend to first on the home front, and this presents an opportunity for the Scottish fans to really get behind their man in huge world title action.”
Said Sandra Vaughan, CEO, MTK Global: “We’re delighted to be working with BT Sport and ESPN+ to put on a show of this magnitude in Scotland with an incredible talent, Josh Taylor. Josh is a true ambassador for Scottish boxing and we are thrilled to be working with him, and the teams at Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank to make this happen.”
Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) became world champion last May when he defeated the then-unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk via unanimous decision in Glasgow. He then bested Prograis via majority decision in one of the best action fights of 2019, a victory that put him alongside the division’s other unified world champion, Jose Ramirez. Taylor earned his spot in the WBSS with a convincing decision over former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol.
“I am super excited to kickstart the new year with a fresh start and with a new team,” Taylor said. “It’s great to have the teams at MTK Global, Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank in my corner, and I’m delighted to be fighting on BT Sport and ESPN+ and even more so that this is happening in Scotland in front of a home crowd who have waited so long for this! I can’t wait to get the ball rolling with putting on a great performance.”
Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs), from Bangkok, earned his mandatory position by winning the IBF Pan Pacific and IBF Asia titles. He has won six in a row by knockout and will be making his first ring appearance outside of Asia. Last February, he became the first fighter to knock out Japanese veteran and former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo.