Josh Taylor: Scotland’s world champion ‘may not fight this year’


‘It’s going to take someone special to beat me’ – Taylor

Scotland’s world champion boxer Josh Taylor admits he may not be able to fight at all in 2020 because of coronavirus restrictions.

Taylor’s defence of his WBA and IBF world titles against Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong, due to take place in May, has already been postponed.

The Edinburgh fighter’s plans to step up to welterweight are also on hold.

“It’s exciting times ahead,” he told iFL TV. “Hopefully it all goes well but I might not even fight this year.”

Taylor, 29, confessed to a sense of frustration at having had to curtail a pre-fight training camp in Las Vegas.

But he remains optimistic about what the future holds beyond a successful mandatory title defence against Khongsong.

Jose Ramirez holds the other two belts in the division and a unification fight has been mooted, but the prospect of stepping up a weight is a particularly mouth-watering one.

“Even non-title fights at 147 [pounds] are massive because all the names are up there,” said Taylor. “You’ve got [Keith] Thurman, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao.

“When we get back to normality, hopefully I become undisputed champion and move up to 147.”

Although the stars of that division are based in the United States, Hibernian fan Taylor insists the Khongsong bout will not be the last time he fights on Scottish soil.

“I’ve been told by my management that if I do get the Ramirez fight that it might happen in the UK,” he explained.

“Some of those fights might happen in Scotland and I want to get that Easter Road fight or Tynecastle fight and I want to go up to [Edinburgh] Castle – on the esplanade in the summer, just before or after the Tattoo.

“I want to give the Scottish fans big fights. Obviously I want to go to America and see my name in bright lights at MGM or Madison Square Garden – every fighter dreams of that.”

The undefeated fighter had recently teamed up with world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s former trainer Ben Davison until social distancing regulations put their training on hiatus.

“With Ben I’m learning different techniques – I’m getting more leverage on my left hand and my jab’s a bit longer,” added Taylor

“We’re making leaps and bounds so it’s just a shame we’ve not been able to put what I’ve been learning into practice.

“I don’t think I’m going to see Ben for the foreseeable, so we’re going to be starting again really once we get back to it.”



BBC News

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