It is easy to forget – when considering the greater context of the World Boxing Super Series – that Josh Taylor will be challenging for a World title next, should his hand be raised on Saturday night against Ryan Martin.
Indeed, it’s innovative nature and invariably elaborate presentation means that whenever World titles happen to be at stake in the WBSS, they can often pale into insignificance, because the primary focus throughout the tournament tends to be the golden trophy named in honour of Muhammad Ali; awarded to whoever finishes in first place.
This is not the case for Josh Taylor. Like most fighters, becoming a World champion has always been his objective from the outset, before the tournament was even conceived. Taylor’s remarkably rapid career progression is a testament to exactly this.
If – although according to most observers it seems to be more of matter of ‘when’ – he finally gets his hands on a World title, there is nothing to suggest that Josh Taylor will somehow stop there, nor that he is motivated by anything other than an insatiable desire to push himself as far as he can go.
After all, he has already made his country proud with gold and silver medals in two successive Commonwealth Games and his virtually seamless transition into the professional ranks suggests that his natural ability has been complemented by a stubborn, single-minded work ethic.
Trainer Shane McGuigan frequently makes reference to Taylor’s perfectionistic approach. The Tartan Tornado, McGuigan tells us, is never satisfied in training and always wanting to do better; something which could understandably prompt a certain degree of disquiet in his rivals, considering the fact that the Edinburgh-born southpaw already punches with as much variety and spitefulness as a seasoned champion.
Taylor has the look of an experienced operator; someone who is supremely comfortable in the ring and equally confident in his abilities. Less than eighteen months ago, he coolly cruised to victory in a seven-round drubbing of Ohara Davies before stopping Miguel Vazquez in style after nine rounds later that year, and outpointing former champion Viktor Postol most recently in June.
Every time the audacious matchmakers at Cyclone Promotions have seemingly thrown Taylor into the deep end, he has surfaced, smiling from ear-to-ear, with his undefeated record intact.
Ryan Martin certainly continues that trend of tough fights. The similarly unbeaten American is strong, skilled and tenacious and will be looking to emulate the feats of his countryman Terence Crawford four years’ ago in silencing a boisterous Glaswegian crowd with an upset victory.
Should he dispatch of Ryan Martin as expected, some, including his American counterpart Regis Prograis, have poured scorn on Taylor’s chances against newly-crowned IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk – who looked positively frightening in his last bout against Anthony Yigit – but considering the trajectory of the Scotsman’s career so far, you might think it would be foolish to do so.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________