Danielle Murphy exclusive: Sharing an 'amazing' journey to fame and fortune with world champion Josh Taylor; planning a wedding while he's preparing for a big fight; missing her dad; and why it can be lonely being a boxer's other half
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Taylor puts his most prized possessions on the line at a sold-out Hydro, in Glasgow, against the undefeated Englishman Jack Catterall next Saturday. It is the Tartan Tornado's first outing on home soil since May 2019.
Catterall can pack a punch – the 28-year-old Chorley southpaw boasts an unblemished record of 26 wins including 13 knockouts.
But the Prestonpans puncher, also undefeated, is rightly the bookies' favourite to retain the belts he won nine months ago with the toppling of Mexican-American Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas.
Taylor has overcome some robust personalities en route to conquering the world, Viktor Postol, Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk to name but a few.
But none of those former world champions are of the same ilk should Taylor fail to obey fiancée and childhood sweetheart Danielle.
The couple are due to marry in Dumfries and Galloway on June 18 and Danielle has told Josh in no uncertain terms that next Saturday will be his last before they say 'I do'.
“Everything we do comes after Josh's fights and that has been the story of our lives," the 29-year-old told the Edinburgh Evening News. "It has been me organising most of the wedding, but he's already been well warned that he will be pulling his weight after next weekend is out of the way.
She joked: “It's looking like it will be his last fight... well, it bloody better be, as I'm not coming down the aisle to see him standing there with cuts and a black eye!”
The Prestonpans pair have been together since 2010 – just weeks prior to Taylor winning silver for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The boxer's proposal came aboard a luxury boat among the riches of Dubai in December 2020. Danielle says she is counting the days until she ties the knot with her best friend. That said, she is also mindful that, as the big day edges ever closer, her father James won't be there having passed away in September 2019.
“We originally wanted to get married abroad, but my grandparents are at an age now where they're not really keen on flying, and with the whole Covid thing as well, it's a lot to ask of people," she explained.
“It's a nice secluded place we've chosen so we'll be ready to party all weekend. It's perfect for what we are wanting. We've got about 180 to 200 coming, but we've got a lot of friends and family and then there's Josh's boxing family too, so it's going to be amazing and I can't wait.
“But, at the same time, and as the days tick down, not having my dad there is something I am beginning to think about a lot. It's starting to really hit home now that's he not here anymore. But I know for a fact he'll be looking down and enjoying a wee cider.
“Josh and I have been together for 12 years, so it's a long time. It's been hectic but absolutely amazing at the same time. I've seen parts of the world I thought I'd never see and I've supported him all the way through the amateurs right up until now. Boxing has given us the life we have and what we want to give to our children.
“Hopefully we'll get to enjoy our honeymoon after the wedding, but you just never know in this sport. You have time together after fights but, to be honest, it's only a couple of weeks before Josh says: ‘Right that’s me going back into training’.
“I am on my own a lot. but I’ve got family and friends around all the time. Boxing is a lonely sport for the fighter, but it’s the same for partners too. I'm sure it's probably the same across a lot of sports because they are dedicating their lives to the success that they crave.”
Taylor's profile has shot through the roof since his Las Vegas heroics last May. He is very much a man in demand outwith the boxing ring, with recent TV appearances on high-profile shows including A League of their Own and Soccer AM.
“It's been a whirlwind if I'm being honest these last nine months,” Mrs Taylor to be said. “He's done a lot of TV stuff and I've been able to go and watch behind the scenes which has been brilliant. I've even had the chance to sit back and have a wee wine while he's live on air! I think it's just going to get even bigger with his fights now being on Sky Sports.
“Josh is very confident for next week and so am I. Obviously he isn't underestimating Jack as this is a shot at all the belts for him, but, like Josh has said previously, he has worked his absolute butt off to get to where he is and Jack is getting that opportunity in one go.
“But these belts are coming back to our living room. There are levels to boxing. Jack is a very good fighter with a lot of skill, but he's just not at the level that Josh is. Josh is not an undisputed world champion for nothing. He's the main man right now and I can't see Jack getting anywhere near him.
“It's going to be such an amazing atmosphere with the Hydro sold out and I think it's going to be a lot people's first fight they've been to in almost two years. Everybody is buzzing for it.”
•Josh Taylor defends his world titles at the Hydro, in Glasgow, against undefeated Englishman Jack Catterall on Saturday, February 26, with the support of WOW HYDRATE, the latest innovation in fitness, refuelling the body without carbs or sugar.