Written by Tré Berry III | 05/18/2021
Unified RING-MAGAZINE/WBA/IBF Junior-Welterweight World Champion 🏴Josh “Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0-0, 13KO👊) is the newest Champion of the bunch from the shores of Scotland, joining a short, but exclusive list. The list consists of 10 Scottish born fighters who held a version of a title at world level. Out of those ten, only fourbecame true World Champions by holding the LINEAL and/or RING tag, and Taylor happens to be one of those 4, putting himself in great company with the countries greatest boxing predecessors.
As for how Josh Taylor got to this point in his career, let’s take a look back. Taylor’s first sport actually wasn’t boxing, it was 🥋Taekwondo – a sport in which he became a Junior Taekwondo Champion, which probably explains his superb instinctual habits. Josh transitioned from that sport, to the world of boxing at the age of 15, and never looked back.
In 2012, Taylor became the first Lightweight Scotsman to qualify for an Olympic berth since 🥇🏴Dick McTaggert did so back in 1956. In McTaggert’s case, he went on to win the 1956 Olympic Gold-Medal. Though Taylor didn’t advance past the 16-bracket round, the honor was enough in establishing to himself that he belonged with the elite talent, and worked hard to become a much better fighter in the pro ranks.
He made the best of his early opportunities, more than passing the eye test of pundits as a pending threat to come. In an 11 month span between July 2017, and June 2018, he faced unbeaten 🇬🇧Ohara Davies, former world titlist 🇲🇽Miguel Vazquez, 🇳🇮Winston Campos, and perennial top-tier 140 lb. talent/former titlist 🇺🇦Viktor Postol – all in consecutive outings, winning all 4 of them in a convincing manner.
Taylor has never been known to take soft touches, and has put together one of the strongest resumes in the last 4 years, continuing his plight by continuing to go after bigger names. To follow up on defeating Postol, Josh Taylor threw his hat in the ring to combat against other top talent that he may have not gotten a chance to get in with, by entering the newly constructed 🎥World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) Tourney.
It harbored 8 of the best fighters in the 140 lb. division that made themselves available to sign up. In consecutive performances, Taylor stopped undefeated 🇺🇸Ryan Martin in 7, won a decision against rugged 🇧🇾Ivan Baranchyk to win his first title, and won a razor close decision against dangerous, skilled undefeated 🇺🇸Regis “Rougarou” Prograis to win the vacant Junior-Welterweight RING-MAGAZINE belt, and the Muhammad Ali trophy as the tournament winner.
As all of Scotland erupted and rejoiced upon hearing Josh Taylor’s name announced as the majority decision victor over Prograis, he became an instant local hero, and is held in very high regard on his home soil. On Saturday, he has yet another chance to push the envelope further and represent his people by facing fellow Unified Titlist 🇺🇸Jose Carlos Ramirez.
Taylor is dedicating the fight to his friend, mentor, and hero Ken Buchanan, who 51 years prior, secured his signature win over HOF’er 🇵🇦Ismael Laguna for Undisputed Lightweight Championship. To continue the lineage of greatness left by his predecessor are the logs that fuel the flames that Taylor is looking to stoke on his journey, and Saturday, he has a chance to set a blazing trail for himself, and the entire country.