Despite enjoying an impeccable 12 months to life as a paid boxer, Josh Taylor says he can’t wait for the day to prove to those out there that he really is the real deal.
The Prestonpans super lightweight touched back down on home soil earlier this week having registered his sixth straight knockout win at the Barclays Center in New York on Saturday night – Cyclone stable-mate Carl Frampton also doing the business with victory over Leo Santa Cruz to become the new WBA world featherweight champion.
The Scot’s opponent, Pennsylvania’s Evincii Dixon, suffered the same fate as Taylor’s previous conquests in not being able to last beyond the second round as a meaty left hand brought the American’s work for the evening to an abrupt end.
Taylor is now slowly earning himself a reputation as the knockout king having contested just more than 12 minutes of competitive boxing despite making his professional debut in El Paso, Texas, last July. Although admitting he is more than content to get in and out of the ring as quickly as possible, the 25-year-old does harbour some frustration that he hasn’t found the opportunity to justify all the hype that surrounds the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
“I want to show people that I can really fight when I have to. I know I can beat whoever I come up against but I do need rounds, though, that goes without saying,” Taylor said in an exclusive interview.
“I want to prove those people wrong who think I’m only getting where I am because I won Commonwealth gold. I want to show all those non-believers just how good I can be.
“Of course it is a bit frustrating (finishing early) but if I can go through my career having early nights then I’ll take it,” continued Taylor.
“I don’t want to be taking any punishment really. But, at the same time, I want to be involved in exciting fights that people will remember for years to come.
“It’s still early doors so I suppose I am coming up against opponents who are probably a step back from when I was at the top of the amateurs.
“The guy I was meant to be fighting in New York (Osumanu Akabu) was certainly a step up in class with 32 wins and 11 defeats to his name, but I’m confident I would have got him out of there as well. It was disappointing he elected to take another fight instead.
“Dickson, though, was durable in the videos that I watched beforehand. I even thought it might have gone the full eight rounds but it wasn’t to be.”
Taylor revealed he savoured every last second of his three-and-a-half weeks stay in the US – an experience that he strongly believes brought the whole group closer together.
“The trip was just unbelievable. It didn’t feel like I was away for almost a whole month because I was enjoying it that much. It just flew in,” he said.
“We trained six days a week for most of the time and had the Sunday off where we took advantage of that and went into the city. Everyone was really friendly and accommodating. New York really is an incredible place.
“Some of the gyms we used for sparring over there were just out of this world. But I would also go running across the Brooklyn Bridge which was a lot different from what I’m used to training back here or down in London!
“It’s great that we’re all so close and get on,” he continued. “The banter is always there with Carl and Conrad (Cummings), but Barry and Shane (McGuigan) are just as much a laugh. Some of the people I met on fight night too, I bumped into Danny Garcia and Rory McIlroy in the changing rooms after Carl had won and was talking with them which was great. David Haye came out to support us as well.
“It was a pleasure to just watch Carl’s fight as a boxing fan. Usually I get a bit nervous for him before his fights but I just lapped up the moment and really enjoyed it. I was up singing with the all the Irish fans and with him fighting at featherweight, what a difference this time in his energy levels. It’s usually a killer for him when he’s boxing bantamweight but not this time. I knew he was going to do it.”
Taylor warmed up for yesterday’s holiday in Ibiza with girlfriend Danielle with a few celebratory drinks and a rendition of ‘Frampton’s on fire, Santa Cruz is terrified’ in Irish bar Annie Moore’s last Sunday before catching his return flight to Edinburgh later that evening. However, he did disclose he almost caved in to temptation in booking an alternative flight for the following day.
“I had a couple of beers but had to leave early to catch my flight which I was pretty gutted about to be honest,” he said. “It was absolutely wild in there and the bar was packed with Irish supporters all singing. I was actually looking at changing my flight but it was just going to be too expensive. Plus, I also had to get home and repack again for Ibiza. And, to be honest, I had spent so much of my time in New York surrounded by Irish people that I was beginning to get sick of the accent!”