Josh Taylor admits the late call-off by Mexican Humberto Soto has been far from ideal. However, the Prestonpans puncher insists his top amateur pedigree has prepared him well for this kind of scenario.
Taylor is aiming to rubber stamp a second successful defence of his WBC Silver belt in front of his legion of fans at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow tonight – his first appearance at the venue since he won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
However, it will be the gloves of Nicaragua’s Winston Campos he will have to try and combat and not Soto if he is to secure the 12th win of his professional career.
Veteran Soto informed the Taylor camp last week of his decision to withdraw from the fight having sustained a nasty cut during a sparring session.
And, although Taylor, 27, admits the past six weeks in the gym had all been geared towards keeping his undefeated record intact against the Mexican, the former Lochend amateur isn’t going to allow a change in opponent to knock him off his stride.
“I just have to revert back to my amateur days when you didn’t know who you were fighting until the day before,” Taylor explained. “That’s the mentality I need. Yes, it’s late, but back then you had 24 hours to get the game plan. I’ve had all week so I don’t have any worries.
“My mindset is exactly the same. There’s no chance I won’t be up for it with 5000 people at the Hydro. All I care about is winning the fight and making it another good night.
“Obviously, I had nearly a full camp preparing for a different fighter in Humberto Soto, but I feel confident that I’ll be able to adapt to Winston Campos. He’s taller, he’s a southpaw and he’s dangerous, but I’m feeling great and there’s only one winner. It might take me a couple of rounds to adjust to his style, but I think the stoppage will come. The fact he’s a southpaw probably suits me being a southpaw as well. It’s an easier style to match as there will be clearer lines with us both leading from the left.” Taylor has enjoyed being back amongst some familiar surroundings at his East Lothian home since flying up from his training base in London on Tuesday.
However, rather than being smothered with affection from girlfriend Danielle, he admits he has had to contend with more than a kiss or two from his pet dogs.
“I think I miss the dogs more than anyone else!” he joked. “You don’t get any grief from the dogs and you are guaranteed a warm welcome when you come home.
“It’s like the old saying, you try locking a dog or your Mrs in the house for a couple of hours and when you get back see who is happiest to see you! I’m only joking, but it is great to get back and enjoy a few home comforts. You get to see the girlfriend and my mum and dad.
“That’s the hard thing about going away. Your whole life is on hold. You don’t see loved ones, you miss out on holidays, birthdays, weddings, Christenings, stag dos, all that kind of stuff.
“But I love boxing and those are the sacrifices you have to make if you want to make it in this game. I’m used to it. Even when I was in the Scottish amateurs, I’d be away at tournaments and training. It’s part of the job but it makes it worthwhile when you get success.
“It’s nice to be back in my own bed for a couple of days. I get to see everyone and on the morning of the fight I can go a long walk with the dogs which helps take my mind off everything.
“At home, I can switch off with the dogs until I get to the venue – then it’s me who is off the leash.”