Josh Taylor overwhelmed by '˜mad' reaction to title triumph
Last week's Commonwealth super-lightweight triumph at Meadowbank has thrust Josh Taylor to the forefront of British boxing.
However, Edinburgh’s newest champion also revealed that, on a personal note, victory over Dave Ryan has sent his Twitter account into overdrive.
It’s been six days since the 25-year-old won his first title as a paid boxer – Derby’s Ryan becoming the seventh fighter to be stopped in his tracks since the Scot teamed up with Cyclone Promotions boss Barry McGuigan last summer.
And although the Commonwealth belt now takes pride of place in his family home in Prestonpans, it hasn’t been the only object that has been catching his attention of late.
“My phone has only just really started to quieten down now. It’s just been mental this past week or so. I’ve not really had a second to myself to be honest,” Taylor told the Evening News.
“I had about 12,000 followers on Twitter before the fight and I’m now up at about 15,500. It’s just been absolutely mad. My Twitter has just been in meltdown but I’ve really enjoyed reading all the nice comments from people I’ve never even met.
“It’s amazing just what one fight can do and how many people start to take notice. My phone really has been going off every second whether it be someone calling, a text or something new on Twitter.”
Amidst the customary celebrations with family and friends, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist says he has found the time to relive his success.
“I’ve watched the fight back about 100 times and it was just brilliant. Even the way the hall looked was just superb,” he said. “Usually when I get my name shouted out I just head straight to the ring and get ready to fight but I took a wee second to enjoy it – the atmosphere was really something else.
“I knew that I could get him out of there. I’d been hurting my sparring partners with the shots I’d been firing off so I knew if I caught him right then there would be every chance. I really started to relax because I could see everything he had to offer me.
“I didn’t feel the pressure but to be honest when I thought about it the day or so after, I’m so glad I came through it because Barry had been building me up in the press. It would have been horrible if I’d lost as it was the biggest fight of my career. It’s been said so many times about fighters coming through as they get hyped up and then fall at the first hurdle so I didn’t want that to happen.”
So how exactly do you celebrate your first title as a professional boxer? “I went out on Friday night but I didn’t get away from Meadowbank until nearly 1am because of the anti-doping testing,” Taylor explained. “But I was back home in bed by about 4am. On Saturday we had a wee get together down the local in Prestonpans but I ended up in town again on Saturday night.
“I was going to take my belt with me but my dad made sure that didn’t happen. People kept buying me drinks so I can’t really remember much. Every time I was wanting a drink, I had about another five waiting on me! I’ve also eaten a lot of junk food but I’m already getting sick of it to be honest.”
Taylor is expected to find out in the next couple of days if he will box next month on the undercard of stable-mate George Groves, who faces Eduard Gutknecht for WBA International super-middleweight title at Wembley Arena on Friday, November 18. Failing that, he says there is every chance he will box out in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand early next year when two-weight world champion and another of his stable-mates, Carl Frampton, faces Leo Santa Cruz for a second time in just six months.
“I should know more by the end of this week but my hand is still a bit swollen so I’ll need to see if that settles down before making any decisions,” he said. “I started back training yesterday so I might need to start trimming down again if I’m going to be fighting next month again.
“I want to get a bit more experience at this level, maybe defend my title a few times and then maybe go for a British or European. If I’m not out before the end of this year then I’d like to think I’ll be on the Frampton undercard in Las Vegas at the end of January.”