Barry McGuigan: We want Taylor v Burns within next year

Cyclone Promotions boss Barry McGuigan says he hopes to be able to tie up a fight between Edinburgh's Josh Taylor and compatriot Ricky Burns within the next year.

Friday, 14th October 2016, 1:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:14 pm
Josh Taylor fights Dave Ryan for the Commonwealth title next Friday

Taylor faces the seventh bout of his professional career next Friday when he takes on Derby’s Dave Ryan for the vacant Commonwealth super-lightweight title at Meadowbank.

Coatbridge star Burns, meanwhile, has recently retained his first defence of his WBA world super-lightweight title with victory over Kiryl Relikh and is Scotland’s first three-weight world champion.

McGuigan, the former WBA world featherweight champion, concedes 25-year-old Taylor has to prove he can handle a fight of this magnitude by overcoming a tricky opponent in Ryan in seven days before they can even consider sounding out the Burns camp.

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Ricky Burns is the current WBA super-lightweight champion

“Burns is a genuine opponent down the line for Josh for sure. We’re not trying to generate publicity or anything and I’m sure there are a lot of bigger names out there. Ricky will want to fight but we are deadly serious when we say it’s a fight that we would like within the next year,” McGuigan said.

“We need to see how Josh performs next Friday first. He needs to do the business in the ring so we’ll need to wait and see. But a Ricky Burns fight with Josh Taylor is our ultimate goal.

“We don’t want to create a Glasgow-versus-Edinburgh rivalry because I really think Taylor can be a national hero like Burns in his own right. I know there was the [Ken] Buchanan [Jim] Watt thing back in the 70s and early 80s but nevertheless I don’t want to get into creating any rivalry or animosity.

“Let’s be honest, Burns is the main guy being a three-weight world champion but, again not jumping too far ahead, I have to think where is Josh going to be in a year’s time. He is the ultimate professional and hasn’t looked beyond next Friday’s fight against Dave Ryan. That’s the truth.”

Boxing legend Barry McGuigan has high hopes for Taylor

Whether or not Burns is receptive to the idea of fighting the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist remains to be seen.

“I don’t think anyone other than his close friends could say Ricky is the fighter that he used to be,” McGuigan said. “I know he’s thinking about Adrien Broner next but I don’t know if that’s a realistic fight or not.”

• Tickets for a fantastic evening of championship boxing – with Josh Taylor v Dave Ryan topping the bil – at the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh on Friday, October 21 are on sale now from and are priced £40, £60 and £100 VIP.

Ricky Burns is the current WBA super-lightweight champion

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Boxing legend Barry McGuigan has high hopes for Taylor