Josh Taylor has his say on TV snub: They’re more interested in showing a circus like Logan Paul v Floyd Mayweather
Josh Taylor is hoping to leave broadcasting giants Sky and BT with egg on their faces as he plots a career-best performance in Las Vegas.
The undefeated Prestonpans puncher is potentially only 12 rounds from undisputed stardom should his – and not Mexican-American Jose Ramirez's hand – be raised in the early hours of Sunday morning UK time.
The IBF and WBA super lightweight champion is on the cusp of becoming the first British boxer to hold all four belts in any weight class – a quite remarkable feat having only turned over from amateur to professional in 2015.
This much-anticipated duel at the Virgin Hotels resort has whetted the appetite of fight fans from all corners of the globe, but Taylor is stumped as to why top UK broadcasters Sky and BT have passed up a contest that is already being billed “fight of the year” before a punch has even been thrown.
“I’m a little bit surprised – I did think BT or Sky or somebody from the UK would have picked it up," said Taylor, who aimed a jab in the direction of the aforementioned broadcasters.
“It’s frustrating because it’s one of the biggest fights in British boxing history – and it’s not on TV. That’s a real pain in the backside.
“I really don’t know why it’s the case. I was assuming it would be on BT with BT being aligned with ESPN, who are obviously showing it live across the States.
“It has p***** me off a bit. It almost seems like the broadcasters back home don’t care about it.
"This is a massive, massive fight. It would be one of the greatest British boxing victories in history. But no one is here to cover it, which is beyond me. They seem more interested in showing a circus like Logan Paul against Floyd Mayweather – that’s not a real fight.
"There will be a lot of eyes on that one, which is why it gets picked up, but this fight here is the biggest in boxing at the minute. It baffles me why British broadcasters haven't picked it up. But FITE have got it so people who want to watch it can subscribe to a pretty big streaming platform. But I am not letting it distract me. They’ll know me after this, that's for sure.
"I’m not a great one for accolades, I’m not a show pony but tonight I’ll be making history. And they can’t ignore me then."
Taylor might not have the backing he had hoped for from some sections of the media, but should he succeed 5,000 miles away in Sin City, he appreciates the joy and happiness he will provide the country after so much doom and gloom these past 14 months.
"I know everybody back home is behind me," he said. "I’ve been inundated with messages on social media, people supporting me, wishing me all the best. I know I’ve got massive support back home.
"It fills me with confidence that so many people back home want me to win. I’m proud and happy that I have such support for tonight. I want to say thank you to everyone who has sent their support.
"That’s why I’m not bothered about the TV thing, because I know what a great support I have, the great fans. It's been a tough year so I know everyone is hoping I come back with all the belts.
“It will be great to be get back in there and fight in front of fans again – that’s what I live for.
“It’ll be a smaller crowd, with just over 1,000 fans, but 1,000 fans can make a lot of noise. There will still be a great atmosphere.
“That’s what I’m used to and it’s a big difference, because it’s hard fighting in an empty hall. The magnitude of this fight, it doesn’t matter to me if it was in a car park or a phone box."
As the countdown to the clash with his Mexican opponent has inched ever closer, not to mention having spent the final four weeks of his training camp out in Las Vegas, Taylor has very much become the poster boy of the famous Strip.
"For sure it has been a pinch-me moment seeing your face on the billboards around Las Vegas," he quipped. "It’s pretty cool walking around.
"I’ve seen it a few times now so I am getting used to it! But the first time I saw it there was that pinch-me feeling, like all these years of hard work has got me here and that was always something I wanted. It just feels like I’ve reached the pinnacle of the sport – but I’m not done yet.
“You’ve got to snap back out of that feeling because I’ve got a job to do. We’ve been keeping away from the crowds but there’s been times when I’ve been out and about at the pool hall or the shopping centre and people have come up
“I’ve been noticed a few times and they’ve been saying they’re rooting for me to win.
”It's nice I've got some support here too so that’s been cool as well."
Ramirez v Taylor will stream live and exclusively in the UK on FITE for £9.99. Live coverage begins at 1am tomorrow morning UK time.