By Keith Idec
Josh Taylor and his handlers want an all-Scottish showdown with Ricky Burns.
The undefeated Taylor called out Burns following his impressive seventh-round stoppage of previously unbeaten British prospect Ohara Davies on Saturday night at Braehead Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. The 26-year-old Taylor (10-0, 9 KOs) is a lot less experienced than the 34-year-old Burns (41-6-1, 14 KOs), a former lightweight and junior welterweight world champion.
A Taylor-Burns bout still would do big business in Scotland, where Edinburgh’s Taylor is emerging as a star. Burns is interested, though there has been talk of him fighting former WBA world lightweight champion Anthony Crolla (31-6-3, 13 KOs) in his next bout.
“There’s been a lot of talk,” Burns said, according to London’s Daily Mirror. “Great performance, Josh. Barry’s been calling me out. I’m sure if you’re going to put a serious offer, you have Eddie’s number.”
Burns referred to former featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, whose company promotes Taylor, and Eddie Hearn, who runs Matchroom Sport, Burns’ promoter. McGuigan admits boxing Burns is risky for Taylor at this stage of a pro career that began only two years ago, but he wants to test the hard-hitting, 140-pound prospect who dropped Davies (15-1, 12 KOs) once apiece in the third and seventh rounds.
“We watched Burns, how he won titles,” McGuigan said. “This guy is amazing, an amazing athlete. I’d like it to be sooner rather than later. That’s the point I made in my Mirror article [Saturday]. Provided it’s on free-to-air television. We want fighters taking a risk. That’s what’s good for our sport. What a fight, what a performance. With the greatest respect to Sky [Sports], so many of their fights are predictable. We want fights that are unpredictable.”
Burns, of Coatbridge, Scotland, lost the WBA super welterweight title in his last fight, a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Namibia’s Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) on April 15 in Glasgow. Despite that defeat, Burns still is considered one of the top 15 boxers in the 140-pound division.
“Why not fight Ricky Burns and the winner fights for a world title?,” asked Shane McGuigan, Taylor’s trainer and Barry’s son. “I feel [Taylor] is one title away from a world title fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.