Josh Taylor: The undisputed world champion on next steps & wedding plans

Author : rahmaarya
Publish Date : 2021-05-31 18:56:28

Josh Taylor: The undisputed world champion on next steps & wedding plans

In the moments after his stunning triumph over Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas, Josh Taylor wondered if the historic victory would have resonated, or even registered, back home in Scotland.

The build-up to his bid to become undisputed world champion was dominated by talk of how a fight of this magnitude had not been given the exposure it deserved.

Taylor admitted before and after his points victory over Ramirez he was annoyed that none of the major TV networks elected to carry the bout in the UK.

But, when the Prestonpans fighter landed back on Scottish soil, he was quickly disabused of the notion that his feat of capturing all four light-welterweight world titles had gone under the radar.

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"It's been crazy," Taylor tells BBC Scotland. 
"I didn't realise the effect because I was in Vegas with 
the eight-hour time difference, so I was tucked away in my little bubble.

"I didn't feel the effect of it until I got home and saw all the reports in the papers and on the news. I had been thinking, 'is it going to go unnoticed back home?', but everyone seems to be super proud and my phone is still going crazy.

"I came back to my hometown of Prestonpans. There were hundreds of people waiting for me outside my local pub, where I used to drink.

"Family, friends and friends of friends, loads of people in the area coming out to support me. There were people hanging out their windows and clapping. It was a little bit emotional. My two mates in the back of the car were wiping some tears away. It was nice, a pretty cool moment."

'I can go higher'
If Taylor really was boxing in the shadows up to this point in his career, the show he put on against Ramirez has propelled him firmly into the light.

Celebrated names such as Tyson Fury, Andre Ward and Joe Calzaghe were queuing up to offer their praise and congratulations on social media.

Ring Magazine has bumped Taylor up to number five on their prestigious pound-for-pound list of the world's best boxers across all the weight divisions - and he's not ready to stop there.

"I think I can go higher, I really do," he says. "I watched the fight when I got back home and, while I am very proud of my performance, I give myself a seven or eight out of 10.

"I still believe I can perform so much better. You've not seen the best of what I can do yet.

"I'm really not in the game to get all the accolades and recognition. I'm not interested in all that stuff. I started boxing because I wanted to win, to beat the best and be the best.

"All the other fighters on that list are absolutely amazing. I'm honoured to even be on the list. I'm just thinking, 'Wow! How am I being talked about as pound-for-pound top five, top three? It's just surreal."

If the win over Ramirez was a career high for Taylor, it was a triumph too for his trainer, Ben Davison.

"He's all right for a personal trainer!" says Taylor. "That's what people keep saying about him on social media. He gets a lot of disrespect put on his name just because he sort of came out the blue and was working with Tyson Fury.

"But he worked with Tyson Fury because he's got a very good knowledge and understanding of the sport. He is one of the best coaches in the game.

"It's turned into a really good friendship as well. It's proved to be the best decision I ever made and I can't give him enough praise."While the relationship with Davison is still in its infancy, Terry McCormack has been with Taylor on every step of his journey, right back to his early days at Lochend Boxing Club. Perhaps the most powerful images in the post-fight celebrations were of the embrace between Taylor and McCormack.

"Terry is just a diamond, he's one in a million," Taylor says. "He's a mentor to me, a psychologist, a friend, a dad, he's everything all rolled into one big, ugly, hairy man! He just means a lot to me.

"He's been there through so much, times in my life when I've been down about things. I had no money growing up when I was coming through. I was getting paid off from jobs and Terry would give me money to put petrol in my car.

"When things were down, I could tell him things, all my troubles. He's just been there for me, he's been a real solid for me and I've got so much love for the man."

'Wedding & stag plans take priority now'
In the aftermath of becoming just the fifth man in history to clean up all four belts in a single weight division, Taylor's name is being lobbed in with some of boxing's global icons for potential future bouts.

The Tartan Tornado said himself he would like a crack at Terence Crawford, the American superstar and three-weight world champion.

Crawford would present an enormous challenge but also an opportunity for a legacy-defining fight. So too would Teofimo Lopez. The conqueror of the great Vasyl Lomachenko, Lopez has said in the past few days he's ready to step up from 135lbs to challenge Taylor. It's another mouthwatering proposition.

But, as we salivate at the prospect of these fantasy fights, the next date in Taylor's diary may have nothing at all to do with boxing.

"I've been told by my fiancée, Danielle, that we have to go and look at wedding stuff," he reveals. "I think boxing is going to have to be put to the back of the head.

"I need to sort my stag do as well. Knowing me and what I've had to do my whole life so far, I'll probably miss it because I'll be in training. I need to sort that out and everything else that goes along with the wedding. I think Danielle will be pushing me to get busy with that."

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