It’s become the norm these days when boxers proclaim their last training camp as the most productive of their careers.
Some of the sport’s biggest names aren’t renowned for their honesty in and out of the ring. However, that isn’t the vibe Josh Taylor gives off.
The 27-year-old undefeated Prestonpans super-lightweight is first to admit he has let his guard down more than a few times in between previous training camps, although his record of 12 professional wins – 11 coming by knockout – would suggest it has had little effect.
Should Taylor emerge victorious from his WBC world title eliminator against Ukrainian Viktor Postol at the SSE Hydro tonight, he will celebrate by locating the nearest food outlet for his traditional post-fight binge – the polar opposite of the life he has led since his previous victory over Nicaraguan Winston Campos in March.
And why not? Abstaining from all of his favourite delicacies is the sacrifices athletes like Taylor have to make when they are preparing for a potential gruelling 12-round contest.
“This one really has been a long camp, about 13 weeks I think I’ve been at it, so it feels like I’ve been training forever,” the WBC Silver champion Taylor said.
“I know what’s at stake with this fight so I’ve made sure I’m in top shape and I feel much better for it. My fitness is bang on and I’ve been ahead of schedule for most of the camp. I’ve been more professional this time in between camps as I didn’t allow my weight to blow up like I have done in the past.
“I always have a few days off after I fight where I basically go and eat what I want but some of that has gone on for longer than expected. It was a long year last year, being in Vegas for a month in January [he beat Mexican Alfonso Olvera] and then coming home and heading straight into another camp for [Warren] Joubert.
“Then I had to get ready for Ohara [Davies] before another 13-week camp for [Miguel] Vazquez so it was a long year away from home where I was constantly training. So in between these camps I didn’t train at all and I ate a lot of s**t so the weight really piled on. But I learnt my lesson for this one and kept fit even before heading into camp. It made things so much easier when we finally got things underway.
“I know I’m going to win this fight so I feel completely relaxed.”
Taylor has been inundated with media requests in the weeks prior to tonight’s showdown against former world champion Postol, a part of the build up he is only too happy to take part in. That said, he believes his pet dog Manny, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, has been basking in the limelight too much for his liking.
“Every time someone comes down to the house to do an interview they’re all about the dog,” Taylor quipped. “Manny always gets involved so I think he’s more well-known than I am! But he’s great to have around and I think people take to him really quickly because he’s got such a good character and is really affectionate.
“It’s good to have so much support though. When I’m back home I get a lot of questions but if I go down to the bike racing with my dad then nobody asks me. That’s nice too as I can switch off and not think about boxing for a couple of days. At the same time, there would be something wrong if I went somewhere and nobody ever mentioned it. It’s good that everyone is backing me and wanting me to do well.”