No matter what Josh Taylor achieves in his career, he does not think he will merit being called Scotland’s greatest fighter.

Such is his reverence for the late lightweight great Ken Buchanan, Taylor is prepared to play second fiddle to the man he refers to as “King Kenny”.

Buchanan was an International Boxing Hall of Famer who passed away in April 2023, but he and Taylor had a rapport.

Buchanan, of course, boxed the likes of Ismael Laguna, Roberto Duran, Carlos Ortiz and countryman Jim Watt in his 61-8 (27 KOs) career.

“Listen, Ken Buchanan is the greatest Scottish boxer; charisma, his character, his one-liners, the way he spoke, the way he carried himself, he was just a true champion and a true champion of the people and for me, Ken Buchanan ‘King Kenny’ as I call him, is the greatest,” said his fellow Edinburgh man Taylor. 

“There have been a lot of great fighters from Scotland, Benny Lynch and all them, but for me it’s been Ken Buchanan. I’m just happy, proud and honored to hold the same title as him and be an undisputed world champion and to be able to come back from Vegas and say to him, I’d done it just like him, and get pictures taken with him [with the belts]. He told me I could do it and to say I’d done it, for me that’s one of the greatest honors I’ll ever have. 

“Ken Buchanan is the greatest for me.”

Taylor subsequently parted company with three titles outside the ring and lost the fourth to Teofimo Lopez in New York’s Madison Square Garden last year.

Now he faces old foe Jack Catterall on Saturday in Leeds in a rematch of their controversial fight in 2022, which Taylor won via split decision.

After clearing out the 140 division between 2019 and 2021, there are questions externally about what Taylor might have left. The 33-year-old “Tartan Tornado” is 19-1 (13 KOs) and believes, without question, he can scale more mountains in boxing.

“Yes absolutely,” he insisted. “I would have retired after the [Jose] Ramirez fight if I didn’t think I still had it because essentially I’d completed boxing. I’d achieved everything I could have ever dreamed I’d achieve. 

“I always believed in becoming world champion, unified world champion, but did I ever believe I was going to be undisputed world champion? No. So if that was my goal, I could have retired straight away from then. I’m boxing because I still feel I can get the best out of myself and I still feel I can achieve more. I still believe I can become a world champion again, maybe even at a second weight.”

Taylor is being trained by Liverpool-based coach Joe McNally, who was in the corner the night the Scot suffered the only defeat of his career, to Lopez. According to Taylor, that experience only tightened their bond.

“He’s brought lots to me,” Taylor said of working with McNally. “He’s added more angles to my game, more defense, more footwork, you’re always learning in this game. Everyone can show you a thing or two. Joe’s worked a lot with me inside and outside the ring, as a friend, too. We’ve grown as a team together and taking my first loss with Joe I think was a blessing in disguise for our development and our growth, so it’s been great. Joe’s added a lot to my game.”

There is a sense of enthusiasm and a desire in Taylor mid-fight week. For one who has achieved so much, there is ambition in what he says. He is not just looking at Catterall, but his future in the sport and another stint at the top of the mountain. It could still be at 140lbs, despite persistent speculation about a move to welterweight.  

“I feel like the division’s heating back up,” Taylor said of 140. “There’s some big names, the Teofimo Lopez fight [rematch], that’s one I’d love to revisit and correct that one, you’ve got your Devin Haneys, your [Ryan] Garcias, so the division’s hot and there are fights there, but if not we can move up to 147 and try and get a fight at it [the weight] and then try and get a title fight at 147 but I’m focused just on Saturday. I’m relaxed, enjoying it, I’m just enjoying the ride.

‘[I’m] Just taking it a fight at a time, take care of the fight on Saturday, see where the lay of the land is and see what comes my way.”