Scary swans and cash-machine mishaps: A-Z with Josh Taylor



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Capital boxer Josh Taylor tackles Dave Ryan for the Commonwealth super-lightweight title at Meadowbank this Friday night. Neil McGlade caught up with Josh ahead of the biggest test of his fledgling career to discuss his dieting woes, his dislike for swans and his cash-machine mishaps ...

Away Trip. What’s the most memorable place you’ve been through boxing? I’d say the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010. It was a great experience being in India, seeing another culture, be in amongst the people and seeing all the monkeys running about the athletes village. It was brilliant.

Best boxer you’ve faced in the ring? Tom Stalker was a very good fighter as he’s beaten me twice but I did think I’d won the second one. I also fought 2012 Olympic gold medallist Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan in the 2011 World Championships in Azerbaijan and he was exceptional.

Comedian. Who’s the biggest joker within Cyclone’s stable? I’d say Carl Frampton. He plays it cool but he’s quite foxy with his wind-ups. He always gets us and always has something to say.

Daredevil. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? I used to take my dad’s motorbike out a lot and I used to build up the speed quite a bit!

Eejit. What’s the daftest thing you’ve done? I’ve done loads of stupid things. One time I went to a cash machine and forgot to lift the money. I’m a bit of a space cadet, to be honest!

Favour. If you ever need a favour who is the one person you turn to? I’ll turn to my cousins, or either my mum and dad if I need anything.

Girl. Who’s the number one lady in your life? I better not say my two bits on the side! No, I’m only joking, my girlfriend Danielle.

Holiday. Where’s your favourite holiday destination? I’ve not been on that many holidays lately but the last three times I’ve been to Ibiza and that’s been pretty good. But I’d love to go to Las Vegas or Thailand or something like that.

Biggest influence outwith boxing? I’d probably say my dad James. He’s always taken care of me and given me good direction in life. He’s a very hard-working man and puts everybody else before himself. But the same could be same for my mum Diane.

Tell us something we don’t know about Josh? I have a real fear of needles so I hate getting injections. I also really don’t like swans. My dog Pacman seems to attract them if we pass some when we’re out for walks – he gets less freaked out than me, though!

Kindest thing that has ever happened to you? When I qualified for the Olympics in 2012, Terry McCormack gave me his gold chain with his boxing glove on it that his amateur coach had given to him so that’s a moment I’ve always really cherished.

Love of your life? Obviously boxing is a huge part of my life but I love motorbikes as well, my family and Pacman.

Biggest moan of your life? I hate dieting, absolutely hate it. I really love my food, eating out. I love Chinese food, pizzas so it’s brutal when you’re in camp.

Mr Nice guy of boxing? John Thain is just the most genuine person you’ll ever meet. He’s always there to help you and talk about things. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever met and a real good friend.

What is an ordinary day in the life of Josh Taylor? It all depends really. When I’m training for a fight I’m up early in the morning for breakfast before running and training. I’ll then have lunch come home and chill out, watch a bit of Netflix or something. Then train again at night before getting a good night’s sleep. It’s a rock n’ roll lifestyle when you’re in camp!

What’s your pre-fight routine? I never like to pack normal clothes for after my fight. I always just take my boxing stuff and tracksuit that I am wearing. I’ll get somebody else to take my other clothes with me in a separate bag. I’ve done it all through my amateur career and that will stay with me from now on.

What does a quiet night in consist of? Just sitting in with Danielle watching a film, getting a nice Chinese.

Are you a romantic? Eh ... my idea of being romantic is getting a McDonalds or something like that! I’ll maybe push the boat out and take Danielle to Nandos! Seriously, we’ll maybe go away for the weekend.

Any superstitions? The only thing I have is separating the stuff in my kit bag from my normal clothes. They can’t be together!

Who’s the most talented athlete outwith boxing? I’d have to say Usain Bolt. He’s a real character but everything is so effortless for him. He’s an unbelievable talent.

Is it important for you to take another boxer’s undefeated record away from them? That doesn’t really bother me, to be honest. It doesn’t matter if they are undefeated or not. As long as I’m beating them when they’re in front of me that’s all that counts.

What’s your most memorable victory in the ring? It has to be when I won Commonwealth gold in Glasgow two years ago. There was a lot of pressure on me going into the Games as I was expected to win gold so to stand on the top of the podium sing the national anthem was just amazing.

Biggest wind-up you’ve seen? I was away on a training camp with Great Britain in Mauritius and, to be honest, it turned into a bit of a holiday. There were a few of the heavyweight guys from England who went away out at night and got steaming drunk and came back to the hotel about 2am. I was in the corridor watching and they ended up kicking one of the coach’s doors down and setting fireworks off in the room!

X-rays. What kind of precautions to boxers take? We have about six or seven brain scans a year but I’ve also had a lot of X-rays on my hand when I had a problem a few years ago. They are a real pain but you need to have proper medicals.

Yells from the opposition? I have made a few of my opponents flinch, who have gone down in pain. I’ve heard a few of them yelp!

Zoo at the Taylor household? I only have my dog Pacman at the moment but I’d love to get another dog or dogs! I’ll maybe even get a lion one day!

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