What next for Josh Taylor? Terence Crawford, Teofimo Lopez, Jack Catterall and Edinburgh Castle all loom large for undisputed world champion
Josh Taylor sat on the shoulders of trainer and former amateur mentor Terry McCormack screaming in ecstasy, “I am the man, I am the man.” Yes, Josh, you are indeed, and your unrivalled success in British boxing is richly deserved.
Taylor’s amateur career culminated in gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Little more than 12 months later he embarked on a professional career with then promoter Barry McGuigan, and despite a few minor bumps along the way that finally led to the pair severing ties almost 18 months ago, Taylor has not even flinched.
But it has not always been plain sailing for a kid with a dream of becoming world champion. The Scot’s admission in previous interviews that he sometimes struggled to scrape 50p together so he could catch a bus up to Meadowbank, from East Lothian, to train after school makes this individual’s rise up the ladder even more remarkable.
Grit, determination and an exceptional will to win – Taylor has carried those attributes into the ring with him.
The 30-year-old’s impeccable record of 18 wins should not be scoffed at. His last six opponents, including latest conquest Jose Ramirez, have a combined record of 136-1. The calibre of combatants he has had to overcome to reach boxing’s top table is unprecedented.
To give Taylor’s achievement some substance, YouTuber Logan Paul will go head to head in an exhibition fight with Floyd Mayweather in Miami next month, the latter largely considered to be the greatest boxer of all time.
However, the 44-year-old American, who racked up 50 wins in an unblemished professional career spanning 21 years, took 18 professional fights to land his maiden super featherweight world title.
Taylor, on the contrary, owns every piece of bling in the super lightweight division, not to mention the Ring Magazine Belt and the Muhammad Ali Trophy following his World Boxing Super Series triumph in London 19 months ago.
So, who does he turn to now? Taylor has a plethora of options as he weighs up his next move as the undisputed king. A Scotland versus England clash against Chorley’s Jack Catterall looks plausible.
As a former mandatory to the WBC and WBO belts, undefeated Catterall, 27, elected to step aside to allow Taylor to fight Ramirez in the first place. Taylor has himself said he would afford Catterall the opportunity to trade blows once he had overcome the Mexican-American – indeed Catterall tweeted immediately in the aftermath of the Scot’s latest triumph: “Congratulations. Edinburgh Castle let’s make it happen”.
Taylor has long advocated for a fight to take place on the historic esplanade, so maybe now he will get his wish. He possesses all the bargaining tools to push this one through.
But whether this is a match-up that comes to fruition, only time will tell. There isn’t likely to be the same enthusiasm in the Taylor camp for a showdown against the Englishman with big money-making duels against Terence Crawford and Teofimo Lopez far more lucrative. That would involve a move up to welterweight or a drop to lightweight. Nevertheless, give Taylor a pair of boxing gloves and he will fight anybody. Watch this space I say.
He is likely to still be nursing the hangover from hell after a night on the famous Las Vegas Strip. Just make sure you get home safe and sound Josh, with all those beautiful belts of course.
• Our coverage of Josh Taylor’s undisputed world title fight is proudly brought to you in association with WOW Hydrate www.wowhydrate.com