Josh Taylor still hopes to become a two-weight world champion.
The Scotsman 19-0 (13) takes on Teofimo Lopez at the Madison Square Garden Theatre in a mouth-watering clash on June 10. It will be Taylor’s sixth championship fight at super-lightweight.
Following his disputed win against Jack Catterall last year the 32-year-old was adamant he would be moving up in weight to 147lbs after his struggles against the Englishman. While he has chosen to stay at 140 for the time being to take on Lopez 18-1 (13), he still carries welterweight ambitions.
“I’m still driven and determined to achieve more greatness in the sport and put my name down in the legacy books,” he told Steve Bunce on the 5Live Boxing Podcast.
“I could retire today, and my name would be down in the legacy books. The only undisputed champion the UK has, male anyway. I could retire tomorrow and say I’ve had a great career and a very successful one [but] I’d be bored in six months and say I need to get back to it.
“I know I can achieve more in the sport. For me achievement wise it’s moving up to welterweight and becoming a two-weight world champion. There are still huge fights at 140 but for me to keep that fire and motivation there I need to be chasing bigger goals which is becoming a two-weight world champion.”
Taylor’s 20th fight has a special feeling about it. Two highly skilled boxers who are not known for playing it safe or being in boring fights. Add in their combustible personalities and the whole event could be spectacular.
“This fight has got the makings to be a complete barnstormer from start to finish,” said the champion.
“It’s got the makings to be a really highly-skilled boxing match. It’s got the makings to be a chess match. This fight is gonna have a bit of everything because of our two styles. He can do a bit of everything, and I can do a bit of everything so it’s going to be either who’s got the biggest bollocks or the best chess head.”
The Edinburgh native has been out of the ring since that night against Catterall in Glasgow. In the time since he became a married man, left trainer Ben Davison, and joined Joe McNally’s setup in Liverpool but also suffered a foot injury effectively cancelling the Catterall rematch.
“I wasn’t really myself in my last camp,” Taylor said.
“I couldn’t really find myself. I felt a bit lost and in limbo the last 18 months but now I’m here with Joe and the lads. I feel like I’ve known them all for years and they’re all dead good pals. I’ve found myself again. I’m enjoying every minute of boxing again. I feel like I’m a kid going to school every day. I’m really enjoying it.”
When Taylor steps into the ring to face Lopez next month he will do so donning a tribute to his friend and former lightweight world champion the late, great Ken Buchanan who sadly died on April 1.
“I was actually gonna wear Buchanan tartan [on my shorts], but I thought I’ll wear Taylor tartan but I’m going to replicate the way he had his shorts with the white name band and the black writing. I’m gonna have a tribute to Ken that’s for sure.”