By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
JOSH TAYLOR saw Carl Frampton’s face on the side of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – now he aims to become a star on the Strip.
The Scottish light-welterweight fighter defends his Commonwealth crown against British rival Ohara Davies at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow tonight.
Taylor, 26, is regarded as one of Britain’s brightest prospects but faces another talented up-and-comer in Londoner Davies.
But the Scot has his sights set higher as he looks to follow gym-mate and former two-weight world champion Frampton to title glory on a global stage.
Learning Taylor was on the undercard of Frampton’s unsuccessful clash with featherweight star Leo Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand earlier this year.
The Edinburgh-born fighter got to sample Sin City with a points win over Alfonso Olvera, but he was also watching his friend and how he dealt with the big occasion.
“I learn every day from Carl in the gym,” said Taylor.
"But when I was in Vegas, I was in the background and watching and learning how he handles the occasion.
"It was interesting to see how he handled the media, the whole event and how to prepare for it.
“It was massive motivation, seeing his big face on the billboard of the MGM and thinking, ‘That could be me one day’.
“In fact, that is going to be me one day. If he can do it, then I can do it. If I apply myself the way he has applied myself, then why not?
“With it being so close to home, as I train with the same coach and have the same team, then it shows it is not impossible.
“Carl shows me how hard I need to work and you couldn’t buy the experience I get from training with him.”
Davies will be on enemy turf tonight in Scotland as the pair look to settle their feud.
The cocksure Londoner earned the fight by calling out his rival on social media. But Taylor reckons he will get his punishment for being “arrogant” tonight.
“He will face an intimidating atmosphere, I don’t think Scottish people take too well to people who act like him,” he said. “They don’t like arrogance.”
Taylor v Davies is live on Channel 5 tonight from 10pm.