World champion Josh Taylor outlines his Easter Road dream

Josh Taylor has revealed he came mighty close to fighting at Easter Road and not Madison Square Garden this weekend.
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The Prestonpans puncher is now just four days out from headlining the Mecca of boxing in New York City where he defends his WBO super lightweight strap against Brooklyn's Teofimo Lopez.

However, the former Lochend amateur revealed there were preliminary talks between the 32-year-old's promoter US-based Top Rank, and Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell, prior to an agreement being reached on the Big Apple.

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"It was very close to be honest," undefeated Taylor admitted. "I had chats with Ben Kensell and he's dead keen to have me. But Top Rank were more leaning towards going to New York and I was like 'absolutely'. I've never boxed at MSG and I've always wanted to - going into the lion's den. These are the fights that keep the fire in my belly and keeps me excited. Everyone dreams of boxing there.

Josh Taylor is now just days from his clash with Teofimo Lopez in New York. Picture: Wow Hydrate.Josh Taylor is now just days from his clash with Teofimo Lopez in New York. Picture: Wow Hydrate.
Josh Taylor is now just days from his clash with Teofimo Lopez in New York. Picture: Wow Hydrate.

"If I box later on in the year, then hopefully that can be at Easter Road or Edinburgh Castle. But Ben's dead keen to have me at the ground so it's definitely doable."

Lopez, 25, who has only lost once in 19 bouts contested so far, had, prior to this week, been relatively subdued by his own admission. However, he's ramped up the trash talk in the past few days insisting he intends to "take Taylor's life" on Saturday night.

But the former undisputed champ said: "I don’t care what he says. We’ll meet each other later this week and that’s when the fireworks will start. We did a live show a couple of weeks back and I just think his head is all over the place. I don’t know what to take from that, it can be dangerous or very good for me.

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“He seems to be all over the place mentally, contradicting himself, making stupid and bold statements. The guy’s a bit of a trainwreck.

“There won’t be many people at this weight who are bigger and stronger than me – or who punch any harder than me. I’m definitely one of the top tier in that department, in my weight class.

"Lopez might be strong, he might even be a bit stronger than me in terms of physicality. But punching power, I can’t see many people punching as hard as me at this weight.

"I've had one bad performance in ten years, all of a sudden I'm finished, I'm done. I have got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. It's one I can put the middle finger up to a whole load of people afterwards and can say 'I told you so, I'm still the man'.

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"If I retire tomorrow, I’d have left the legacy of being the only undisputed world champion from the UK and the first Scottish boxer to do it in the four-belt era and only the fifth in history. But I want to leave an even bigger legacy, create even more history. I want to become one of the best fighters ever from the UK and Scotland."

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