Fresh hope for future Josh Taylor Edinburgh Castle bout

A boxing world title fight taking place on the Edinburgh Castle esplanade has not been given fresh hope after Historic Environment Scotland refused to rule out the possibility following a request from Josh Taylor.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 7:00 am
Josh Taylor after winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy

Throughout his career the super lightweight world champion has called for a chance to put Scottish boxing at the centre of the sport with a fight staged at the historic site.

The undefeated fighter holds the IBF and WBA titles after 17 consecutive wins and is looking to become Scotland’s first undisputed world champion since Ken Buchanan almost 50 years ago when he fights Jose Ramirez for his WBC and WBO belts in Vegas on May 22.

American Ramirez, two years Taylor's junior, boasts an unblemished record of 26 wins in the ring, and the showdown is being touted as a blockbuster bout.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle

Victory for the Tartan Tornado across the pond will see him become the first ever Scot to hold all four belts and only the second boxer in the super lightweight division to achieve that level of success.

But on Wednesday last week, Taylor expressed his frustration with the Evening News at Edinburgh Castle s reluctance to respond to his requests of fighting on the historic esplanade.

He said: "It's been stone cold from Edinburgh Castle. It's a growing frustration for me.

"I'm beginning to get to the point of telling them where to go. It's beyond me why the people at Edinburgh Castle don't want to have one of their natives and have a massive historical sporting event - yet they'll let Lady Gaga or someone go up there and have a concert.

Josh Taylor draped in a Saltire

"It's beyond me, the logic. I just know a fight of that magnitude, a fight with the castle in the background, is great for Scotland, great for Edinburgh Castle.

“It'll bring tourists and revenue in. I'd really love to do it but, if it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world. It's their loss, in my opinion."

But Historic Environment Scotland responded to his latest statement and did not rule out a future fight taking place at Edinburgh Castle.

A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said: “Edinburgh Castle esplanade is an iconic and sought-after venue for a range of different events, which are considered on a case-by-case basis.

“A proposal and business case would need to be submitted before we could determine if an event could go ahead, due to the challenging logistics involved.”

This latest announcement will no doubt have boxing fans across Scotland salivating at the prospect of Taylor defending his titles on Scottish soil.

Kenny MacAskill, the SNP MP for East Lothian, said: “It would be a fantastic event. Josh is a favourite local son, done well. The castle esplanade has hosted not just the Tattoo but Scottish bands like the Proclaimers and the opportunity for Josh to have a title fight there would be welcomed by one and all.”

Ruth Davidson, MSP for Edinburgh Central, said: “The castle esplanade is a fantastic venue and I cannot see why it could not be used for a potential fight so long as all relevant parties are on board.”

If Taylor returns from Vegas with all four belts, then a first defence of those honours on the castle esplanade is surely too good and offer to turn down.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.