Boxer Josh Taylor has revealed he is gunning for compatriot and former three-weight world champion Ricky Burns after dismantling Ohara Davies to add the WBC Silver belt to his Commonwealth title.
The 26-year-old earned his tenth and most satisfying victory of his short career in an explosive night at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena, a win that propels the Prestonpans puncher into the top 15 in the world super lightweight rankings.
As the previously undefeated Davies slumped to the canvas for a second time in the seventh round, prompting referee Howard Foster to intervene, Taylor immediately sought out ringside Burns before gesticulating in the direction of the 34-year-old and shouting: “You’re next.”
Burns had opted to side with Londoner and stablemate Davies in the run-up to Saturday night’s bout, a decision that had riled some within the Taylor camp, with Cyclone Promotions director Barry McGuigan admitting he’d felt hurt by the Coatbridge fighter’s comments.
However, after another scintillating performance and well-executed game-plan from the Tartan Tornado, Hackney-based Davies, who had been so vocal during the pre-fight build-up, couldn’t muster any sort of response.
As for the prospect of an all-Scottish showdown against Burns, Taylor said: “I’d love to fight him. He said a while back when the fight with Ohara was first being talked about that he wouldn’t entertain me and that I’d need to get though his stablemate first. Well, I’ve just fought him and blown him away. I respect Ricky as a fighter and a person, but I think the time is now to fight him. It would be massive for Scottish boxing and I think the fans deserve it.
“Alex Arthur gave Ricky Burns a chance at the start of his career when he was up and coming, so why can’t Ricky Burns do it for me? It would be a great fight for me next.”
Matchroom-promoted Burns seems receptive to the idea of going head-to-head with Taylor, but is believed to be locked in negotiations that will see the former super lightweight, lightweight and super featherweight world champion lock horns with Anthony Crolla some time later this year.
However, asked for his take on Taylor’s offer towards him, Burns said: “He just shouted. ‘you’re next!’. I just say, speak to my team and we’ll take it from there. I know he made a few gestures towards me at the end, but I expected it. It’s no problem, he was excited with the win.
“I’m fighting in October, but nothing is set in stone. If he wants to fight me then make me an offer.
“I think a fight with Josh is inevitable, it’s definitely going to happen at some point. It’s not so much Josh talking about it this last few months, it’s more been Barry McGuigan.
“Ohara got well paid to come to Glasgow to fight and I said he’d need to come through him first. It will be the same again for them. It would draw a huge crowd in Scotland, that’s for sure.
“But If I was offered the Crolla fight I would jump at it. It would be a massive British fight. We’ve spoken about this before.”
For now, though, the sweet taste of success just keeps on coming for Taylor. “It’s just pure joy at coming away with the win and a win I always knew would happen,” he said. “It’s put me in the top 15 in the world rankings so I’m over the moon and I’m one step closer to getting to where I want to go, which is to become world champion.”
As for Davies, he will now take time to reflect on where his career goes from here having suffered his first loss in 16 bouts. Perhaps a more level-headed approach during fight week would be a good place to start? Not likely when Davies is concerned, though.
“In boxing you take losses. Even though I did say a lot of things that is a bit embarrassing now that I’ve been beaten, my personality doesn’t change,” he said. “Boxing is all about being an entertainer. If me and Josh ever fight again in the future I’ll do the same thing before and after the fight. You can make up [your own minds] as I believe that’s what boxing is about. I want to wish Josh all the best in his boxing career. Him and all his team are great.
“He was a lot tougher than I thought. I was in the gym sparring 15 rounds while I thought he’d get a bit tired. I’m still a good fighter. My credibility doesn’t go down because of that loss.”