Sports Personality of the Year: Josh Taylor tells BBC to stick SPOTY award ‘up their a***’ after snub
Josh Taylor has told the BBC to ‘shove’ the Sports Personality of the Year award ‘right up their a***’ after he was left off the 2021 shortlist.
The Prestonpans fighter was overlooked on this year’s six-person shortlist, despite becoming the first British boxer to be crowned undisputed world champion in the four-belt era.
The 31-year-old made history in Las Vegas in May, winning by an unanimous points decision over Jose Ramirez to become undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO super-lightweight world champion.
In doing so, he became only the fifth boxer ever to simultaneously hold all four belts.
Despite that, there is no place for him on a shortlist that includes heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, diver Tom Daley, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling, US Open tennis champion Emma Radacanu, swimmer Adam Peaty and Paralympic athlete Sarah Storey.
Clearly fuming after he was overlooked by the Beeb, Taylor couldn’t resist a dig on social media as he tweeted: ‘May 22nd 2021. First person In the UK to become undisputed world boxing champion in the 4 belt era & hold all the championship belts. #HistoryMaker shove yer SPOTY right up a***!’
Even before the BBC announcement was made, Taylor said he gets more recognition in United States for his boxing prowess than in UK.
The Tartan Tornado, who joined Edinburgh's Lochend Amateur Boxing Club as a teenager, said: “Becoming undisputed champion went under the radar here but certainly in America it never did. My profile there has shot through the roof and I’ve been getting stopped left, right and centre.
“I still get frustrated as it was the biggest achievement of my life, first person from Scotland and the UK to do it in the sport.”
Taylor’s next fight is against Jack Catterall on February 26.
The pair are pals, but Taylor has no problems turning Catterall from friend to foe when they square up at The SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow.
Speaking at The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh last week, Taylor revealed a changed attitude towards Catterall.
He said: “I like Jack. I have a lot of time for him. There is no bad blood there, there never has been. But the mindset towards him now changes and that is easy for me.
“I can change the mindset with a click of my fingers. I am a fighting man and it is easy to change that mindset.
“I am getting sick of looking at his face already. I just want to get in the ring and beat him up and keep my belts.”
Taylor was due to defend his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts against Catterall on December 18 but he picked up a knee injury.
He admitted to some frustration that he was denied a festive bout.
He said: “Who wants to be running and training on Christmas Day and not eating the turkey and pigs in blankets and all the trimmings, who wants to be sacrificing for me the best part of the year when you get to catch up with family and friends and celebrate with people you haven’t seen for while?
“It is frustrating but I am used to it. Last year was the only year as an athlete that I got to enjoy Christmas so I am used to it.”