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April 12, 2021

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Josh Taylor reveals his plans after he deals with Jose Ramirez for all the belts

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Taylor aiming to add the WBC and WBO belts to his collection (Picture: Getty/Everlast)

Josh Taylor is ready to take whatever opportunity comes his way once he unifies the super-lightweight division against Jose Ramirez – and would take a fight against Terence Crawford ‘in a heartbeat’.

And while unification looms large for the Scot, even he admits he is surprised at the rate of his incredible takeover, with history beckoning just six years into his professional career.

The IBF and WBA champion takes on Ramirez in Las Vegas on May 22 with the winner set to walk away as the undisputed king of the 140lbs division.

Taylor is deep into fight camp with his team and head trainer Ben Davison with some minor tweaks made to prepare for the challenge coming from the undefeated American, who brings the WBC and WBO straps to the table.

The 30-year-old has been on a rampant schedule the last three years, beating Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis on his way to winning his world titles and the World Boxing Super Series in 2019.

Taylor picked up his second world title against Regis Prograis (Picture: Getty)

All three we undefeated fighters before falling to the ‘Tartan Tornado’, along with mandatory challenger Apinun Khongsong who was swept aside in the first round at York Hall last October.

It is a devastating resume and one that justifies Taylor’s decision to delay turning professional until 2015 after a hugely decorated amateur career, rising quickly and ruthlessly with no gaps in his CV.

‘I knew I didn’t want to start my professional career and fight five, 10, 15 journeymen. I thought that would be going back a couple of levels,’ Taylor told Metro.co.uk.

‘Once they had seen my talent in the gym and what I was doing in sparring against experienced pros and the performances in my early fights, everyone started to believe in what I was saying. That was the route me and my team wanted, go fast and progress quickly.

Ramirez undefeated coming into May’s unification showdown (Picture: Getty)

‘To believe I would be unified world champion, about to be undisputed in 18 fights, I definitely didn’t think it would happen this quick.’

Taylor’s 2019 meeting with Prograis in London was a spellbinding contest, the toughest test of his career that brought the very best out of the former Commonwealth champion. A similarly close contest against the undefeated Ramirez is expected in Las Vegas, but the Scot sees slight differences in the approach.

Asked to compare the threat of Prograis and Ramirez, Taylor said: ‘It’s impossible to answer, I haven’t shared the ring with him yet. All I can say is, tactically, Prograis was a difficult fight, a more complex fight.

Taylor also won the Muhammad Ali Trophy in 2019 (Picture: Getty)

‘I think this one is a bit more straight forward tactically in the way it’s going to go in terms my style, the way I fight and the way he fights. We both come to fight, to leave it all in the ring. So it has got the makings to be a fire fight, it’s got the makings to be very exciting while it lasts.’

Ramirez is the last hurdle for Taylor at super-lightweight having passed every test put before him. Chorley’s Jack Catterall is the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt and has been since 2019, patiently stepping aside to make way for this unification bout – perhaps wisely with the chance to challenge for all four belts a more compelling option later in the year.

While Taylor could stick around to fight Catterall, moving up to challenge at welterweight is likely to be too tempting an option.

‘I would like to stick to my word and fight Jack next but if a bigger opportunity comes about next, I will take it with both hands,’ Taylor said.

‘I already feel I’m the best in this division anyway. But when I win this fight, I have nothing else to prove at the weight category. I’ve proved I’m the best and proved I’m world class time and time again.

Crawford vs Taylor an intriguing battle (Picture: Getty)

‘So it’s about setting new goals and new targets, becoming a two-weight world champion maybe at welterweight. But we don’t know what will happen. We will see what comes my way. And first of all, I need to beat Ramirez so I’m not even thinking about what’s happening next, the only thing I’m thinking about is Jose Ramirez on May 22.’

While Taylor admits Manny Pacquiao might be the ‘dream’ fight, Crawford is perhaps the more compelling option. Crawford ruled super-lightweight with all four belts in his possession before moving up and winning the WBO belt welterweight in 2018.

The undefeated American, like Taylor, is represented by Top Rank and with talks to fight Errol Spence Jr so frustratingly falling by the wayside, fighting Taylor could be the super-fight to make.

‘It shouldn’t be so hard,’ Taylor said of making the Crawford fight happen. ‘’Terence Crawford seems to be having a nightmare getting an opponent at this time. But I would take that fight in a heartbeat. If he’s struggling for a dance partner I’ll do the tango with him, no problem.’

Ahead of the Ramirez fight, Taylor has partnered up with Everlast, with the boxing brand this month pledging to sign 52 British fighters in 2021.

‘They are the biggest brand in boxing.’ Taylor said. ‘They’ve worked with all the greats, Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis and now myself. Everlast have been there from the start and it’s very good they are getting involved and helping boxers who are coming through.

‘For fighters making a living and making their fight purses last until their next fight, it is very tough. So with Everlast coming on board and helping these fighters it is only a good thing for the sport. It helps the boxers be able to give 110 per cent and not worry about other things and it will only help grow the sport.’

Josh Taylor is an Everlast athlete. With over 100 years’ heritage in boxing, Everlast is a necessary part of the lives of countless champions and aims to inspire the fight in us all.

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