‘Undisputed fights keep boxing alive!’

Josh Taylor insists that he “risked everything” to become undisputed super-lightweight champion and has called on boxing to stage more fights that crown a division’s No 1.

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury saw their planned heavyweight collision to crown an undisputed champion fall apart in the days before Taylor became the first Brit to win every title in a weight class in the four-belt era.

He arrived home at Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday with his championships still en route from Las Vegas, where he defeated Jose Ramirez last weekend.

Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor is Britain’s first undisputed champion of the four-belt era

“Respect has to be given to both of us,” he told Sky Sports News. “There are so many belts, so many champions. Who is the real champion?

“For me, all that dilutes the sport. It’s hard to keep up with who’s the man.

“Myself and Jose had the belts – we put our unbeaten records on the line, we risked everything. That’s what boxing should be about.

“We never ducked away from the challenge. We embraced it.

“It keeps the authenticity of the sport alive.

Josh Taylor
Taylor knocked Ramirez down twice

“I am the man at 140lbs. I am the champion, I am the No 1, I’ve got all the belts.

“There should only be one champion and I can say that it’s me.

“I’ve not had time to sit back, reflect on what I’ve achieved.

“I look at my phone and the emotions captured in these little videos pull on the heartstrings.

“I’m on Cloud Nine. It feels like a dream. It doesn’t feel like reality yet.

“My lifelong sacrifice has finally been worth it.”

Josh Taylor
Taylor beat Ramirez via unanimous decision

Taylor is undefeated in 18 and, after beating Ramirez, has won two unification fights against fellow unbeaten world champions.

“I’ve cemented my legacy now,” he said.

“I could retire now, be totally content and live the rest of my life happily but in six months I’d want to get back in the ring.

“I haven’t hit my ceiling yet, I haven’t reached my full potential, I can make improvements, there are better performances to come. I can do better.

“The target is on my back now. Everybody will want to fight me. What I’ve worked so hard for, people will want to take from me.”

What does the future hold?

Josh Taylor


Scotland’s Josh Taylor wants to fight Terence Crawford

His idol Manny Pacquiao is Taylor’s dream fight but a more realistic option could be Terence Crawford.

The American was undisputed super-lightweight champion and now holds the WBO welterweight belt – he is among the world’s pound-for-pound elite.

“It’s a great fight,” Taylor said about stepping up to face Crawford.

“The last time he was in Scotland he went home with the victory over Ricky Burns, a good friend who I highly respect.

“It’s a massively attractive fight, a sought-after fight. Both sets of fans, from here and in America, would love it.

“I’ve got pulling power now. We’ve both with Top Rank, the same promoter. There’s a chance [the fight could be in Scotland].”

A homecoming?

The Hibernian fan hopes his next outing could be at Easter Road or Edinburgh Castle.

Jack Catterall, his WBO mandatory challenger, would be an option to be his opponent.

“I would love my next fight to be in Scotland,” he said. “I owe it to my fans.

“I’ve not fought at home since Miguel Vazquez [in 2017]. That was the last time I fought in my home city.

“It would be iconic – a once in a lifetime event. It’s got to happen and now is the time.”

Taylor first plans to visit legendary Scottish boxer Ken Buchanan.

“The drive was to be like Ken, to be just as good as him,” he said.

“He gave me inspiration and motivation.

“To be mentioned in the same breath as him is an absolute honour.”