IBF, WBA junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor is preparing for his upcoming full division unification with WBC, WBO world champion Jose Ramirez.

The contest is scheduled to take place on May 22, likely at a venue in Las Vegas.

"I knew I didn’t want to start my professional career and fight five, 10, 15 journeymen. I thought that would be going back a couple of levels,’ Taylor told Metro.co.uk.

"Once they had seen my talent in the gym and what I was doing in sparring against experienced pros and the performances in my early fights, everyone started to believe in what I was saying. That was the route me and my team wanted, go fast and progress quickly.

"To believe I would be unified world champion, about to be undisputed in 18 fights, I definitely didn’t think it would happen this quick."

The contest with Ramirez will be the toughest bout for Taylor since his victory over Regis Prograis in 2019.

"All I can say is, tactically, Prograis was a difficult fight, a more complex fight," Taylor said. 

"I think this one is a bit more straight forward tactically in the way it’s going to go in terms my style, the way I fight and the way he fights. We both come to fight, to leave it all in the ring. So it has got the makings to be a fire fight, it’s got the makings to be very exciting while it lasts."

A victory over Ramirez would give Taylor two possibilities, but he admits the welterweight division is certainly in his future.

Should he win, Taylor would either make a mandatory defense against Jack Catterall - or make an immediate move to welterweight, where a fight is possible with WBO champion Terence Crawford.

"I would like to stick to my word and fight Jack next but if a bigger opportunity comes about next, I will take it with both hands,’ Taylor said.

"I already feel I’m the best in this division anyway. But when I win this fight, I have nothing else to prove at the weight category. I’ve proved I’m the best and proved I’m world class time and time again. 

"So it’s about setting new goals and new targets, becoming a two-weight world champion maybe at welterweight. But we don’t know what will happen. We will see what comes my way. And first of all, I need to beat Ramirez so I’m not even thinking about what’s happening next, the only thing I’m thinking about is Jose Ramirez on May 22.

"Terence Crawford seems to be having a nightmare getting an opponent at this time. But I would take that fight in a heartbeat. If he’s struggling for a dance partner I’ll do the tango with him, no problem."