Josh Taylor Hopes To Emulate Scottish Boxer McTaggart
Josh Taylor is drawing inspiration from the exploits of legendary Scottish lightweight Dick McTaggart as he puts the finishing touches to preparations for his Olympic debut in London .
Taylor has been poring over old fight videos of McTaggart, who became the first British boxer to appear in three Olympic Games and claimed gold and bronze medals in 1956 and 1960 respectively.
The 21-year-old from Lochend will become the first Scottish lightweight to compete at a Games since McTaggart, and admits his predecessor's exploits are providing plenty of incentive.
Taylor told Press Association Sport: "Dick McTaggart is the greatest boxer to come out of the Scottish amateur scene and I'd be very proud if I could emulate him and win a medal in the same weight category.
"I've met Dick a few times and I've seen his videos on Youtube. He was an amazing fighter. He was a tall lightweight like me, so his style is something I can definitely learn from."
Taylor boiled back down to the lightweight limit in order to pursue his dream of Olympic qualification after British rival Thomas Stalker moved up to book the light-welterweight slot.
Stalker had eased past Taylor 11-3 to win Commonwealth Games gold in the final in Delhi, but Taylor quickly rebounded, shedding four kilos and earned his place at the final qualifying tournament in Trabzon.
Taylor added: "Going into the final qualifier a lot of people thought I'd be dead at the weight but I was healthy and strong and I kept that strength through all my fights.
"I believe I've improved a lot since Delhi. It was a big experience for me and I got a little bit star-struck. I'm used to it now and I won't be getting stage-fright this time round.
"I'm confident in my own ability and I don't feel any pressure, even though I'd be the first Scottish boxing medallist since Dick McTaggart. I'm just going to go in there and give it my all."