Boxer Aston Brown believes Commonwealth super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor will be “welcomed with open arms” when he fights in Glasgow for the first time as a professional at Braehead Arena next weekend.
The undefeated Prestonpans puncher has registered three wins in his homeland since signing professional terms with Cyclone Promotions manager Barry McGuigan in the summer of 2015. However, these triumphs have all come at Meadowbank Sports Centre.
Nonetheless, 26-year-old Taylor is ready to reach out to boxing enthusiasts from the west when he goes head-to-head with Hackney-based Ohara Davies, another undefeated fighter, on July 8.
And Glaswegian Brown, who travelled the world with Taylor during their amateur days, reckons his old pal has a solid fanbase following his Commonwealth Games gold-medal success at the SSE Hydro in August 2014.
“Glasgow loves boxing – it’s as simple as that,” said middleweight Brown, also 26, who is making his comeback on next weekend’s bill following a 20-month lay-off due to a tendon injury to his knuckle.
“You only have to look at the support that Ricky Burns receives.
“Just because Josh is from the east doesn’t mean people aren’t going to get behind him.
“We all get behind our own no matter where they’re from so the atmosphere will be rocking come next weekend I can guarantee it.”
Brown couldn’t be happier for his best buddy having watched his career go from strength to strength.
And, although their time spent together has taken a back seat given Taylor now splits his time training between Edinburgh and London – Brown is also based south of the Border in Manchester – he insists their admiration for one another remains.
“Josh is such a close friend of mine and he’s godfather to my wee girl,” Brown said. “We really are the best of friends and even though we don’t see each other as much as we used to, we’re on the phone a lot.
“He’s busy doing his thing, as am I, but everybody goes their own way when they turn pro.
“We spent so much time in the amateurs together we could probably write a book!
“I’ve always said from day one that Josh will become world champion.
“He has that natural ability and, although Ohara Davies talks a good game, I don’t think he’s really got much of a chance. Josh has already fought ten Ohara Davies’ from his amateur career.
“I’m not dissing Davies but I just can’t see past Josh. I really can’t wait to go back to Glasgow and box – I can’t remember the last time I fought there. I’ve boxed all over the world with GB and Scotland but there’s something special about fighting in front of your home crowd. I’ve sold loads of tickets.”
And just what does Brown make of the enigma that is Ohara Davies?
“I reckon he’s been told to behave the way he is,” he said. “This fight has been made through social media but put it this way, once Davies is beaten on July 8 he can just carry on with his career. I don’t think anyone expects him to win but he’s being paid a lot of money.”