Josh Taylor says he wants to move up to welterweight one day but still believes he has plenty still to do at super-lightweight.
Taylor makes the first defense of his undisputed world super-lightweight title at the Hydro in Glasgow on December 18 against Jack Catterall. But while he talks about going up to welterweight to face Terence Crawford or Yordenis Ugas, he might not move up for good.
“I think I can be a career 140-pounder,” Taylor said. “There are still massive fights there at 140 and you have fighters coming up from 135. I think I have proved I am the best at 140, so I would like to become a two-weight world champion too, face Terence Crawford or Ugas, people like that. I would like to test myself against the best at 147 too.
“But I am not looking past Jack Catterall. This is a very tough fight, he has beaten everyone put in front on him. We are going to see a fully fired-up Jack Catterall.”
By fighting Catterall, Taylor is fulfilling a promise he made to give the Englishman as shot in return fir allowing Taylor’s undisputed world title fight with Jose Ramirez to happen in May. As the WBO mandatory contender, Ramirez had been told to face Catterall, but he agreed to stand aside, in the hope that the winner of Taylor-Ramirez would not then vacate the belt.
“Jack did a good thing in letting that fight happen first,” Taylor said. “He had the chance to fight Ramirez first. But there was method behind his madness. He knew, on the back of it, he'd get a shot at all four belts rather than just the two Ramirez had.
“He’s a good strong fighter and I’m looking forward to a good tear-up. I like Jack, I have a lot of time for him. But come fight week any respect for him goes out the window.
“He’s the enemy and the guy standing in the way of my dreams and ambitions. He’s a good fighter and I'm looking forward to a good tear-up. I have to come out victorious.”
Taylor has been a busy man and in demand since returning to Scotland from his big win in Las Vegas. But while he got to fill in the places he left in his trophy cabinet for the WBC and WBO belts, he says to success has not changed him.
“It’s not changed too much,” he said. “I’m the same old me, still doing the same old things. My lifestyle hasn’t changed at all. Doing TV and some media stuff and being invited to soe events has been pretty cool, but nothing much has really changed.
“I got the feature wall finished, I had the two missing slots for the belts. I never managed to get away on holiday because of all the media stuff I did when I got back.”
Boxing back at the Hydro is a big deal for Taylor. He won Commonwealth Games gold there in 2014 in the first event after the arena was completed and he beat Ivan Baranchyk there in 2019 to first become a world champion. That was his last fight in Scotland – his defense against Apinun Khongsong should have taken place there last year, but the pandemic saw that switched to behind closed doors in London.
“It’s basically my second home,” Taylor said. “It will be great to go back to the Hydro. So many of the big moments in my career have taken place there, right back to winning gold at the Commonwealth Games.
“I’ve been away for a bit but it is great to give my home country a big fight. This is a great fight to be involved in, it’s a Scotland v England thing so that will give it a great atmosphere.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.