Boxing: Taylor will drop a weight to pursue his Olympic dream

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LOCHEND boxer Josh Taylor is ready to drop down a division as he bids to reignite his Olympic dream.

The southpaw had thought he’d blown his chances of competing in London next summer following an unsuccessful World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan last month. However, following his brilliant gold medal win at the London Invitational Tournament last weekend, the 20-year-old is set for a second crack at securing a place in the Great Britain 2012 squad.

Taylor will fight in Istanbul, Turkey at the Olympic qualifiers next April and, should he come through all his bouts, a GB spot will be his.

However, that place will have to come at lightweight as the GB light-welterweight places – where Taylor has enjoyed notable success including a 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medal – have already been filled.

Taylor, though, insists he’s up for the challenge, saying: “I’ll have to drop back down from light-welterweight to lightweight, a move which my coach, Terry McCormack, and I agree can be done although it won’t be easy. But, if that’s the price I have to pay to box in the Olympics, then that’s okay by me.”

Taylor was thrilled by victory at the Excel Stadium last weekend, admitting it gave him more pleasure than the previous five gold medals won across Europe by the classy Prestonpans fighter.

“Beating Sweden’s Anthony Yigit was great because he was one of my toughest-ever opponents and the Australian I beat in the semi-finals, Jeff Horn, was really tough too. What made it all worthwhile was being told that I’ve earned a second chance to qualify for the Olympics.’’

Taylor plans to train full-time as he bids to reach London 2012 but admits he’ll need financial support to realise his dream.

“I will now concentrate on going full-time, training like a pro so I will be in the best shape of my life by the time Istanbul comes around,” he said. “But I will have to gain decent levels of financial sponsorship so my coach and I are launching an appeal to local businessmen and companies to sponsor me.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Taylor should call Terry McCormack on 07817 470304.